Thursday, February 17, 2011

Keith Urban, "Without You"

"Without You," the second single from Keith Urban's album Get Closer is a deeply personal self-penned composition for which wife Nicole Kidman serves as inspiration.

Actually it was written by Dave Pahanish and Joe West, but one could easily be forgiven for making the above assumption.

Without a doubt, there are plenty of things to like about Keith Urban's latest single.  The stripped-down musical arrangement served as a welcome change of pace on an album dominated by drum machines and electric guitars.  And what do you know?  It even sounds country, with fiddle and banjo included in generous amounts.  Not surprisingly, Keith delivers a deeply sincere vocal performance, which makes the record a success on a sonic level at the very least.

Regrettably, here is where the praise must end.  The song itself is a bore - depressingly one-dimensional, not to mention a bit self-indulgent.  We probably have Nicole Kidman to thank for this, since Keith's marriage to her has made him so gosh darn happy.  Though Keith's attempts at conveying sorrow and heartache have often resulted in brilliance (see "Til Summer Comes Around"), he doesn't always pick the best material for his happy romantic mood.  This song's sentiment sounds like something that would best be condensed into a couple of sentences instead of a five minute song.  In turn, the song would have been best left as an album cut instead of a radio single.

Though he undoubtedly means what he's singing, he's still not singing anything that feels vital, authentic, or artistically relevant.  I'm sure Nicole Kidman loves it - It's just hard to see why the rest of the world should be interested as well.

(Scores are given on a scale of 1 to 10)