Keith Urban

Defying Gravity – 2009 (Capitol Nashville)

Reviewed by Jacquilynne Schlesier

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CDs by Keith Urban

Keith Urban's 2006 album, "Love, Pain & The Whole Crazy Thing" seemed to mirror his life in all its tabloid-baiting chaos, and you can only hope that 2009's "Defying Gravity" does the same. If this album is an indication, Urban has clearly put that chaos behind him, replacing it with the love and joy that comes from marriage and a new daughter. The 11 songs dance along, driven by joyful rhythms and guitar hooks. Even the one song that starts off like a kiss-off, break-up song, Hit The Ground Runnin', turns out to be a rocking declaration of devotion.

Not everything rocks - two of the best tracks are quieter tunes. Til Summer Comes Around is filled with the wistful yearning of a man hoping for the return of a long-lost summer romance. It's offers a compelling picture of both a place and a man that live in the past.

The most poignant and personal moment is the last, but it might have been more logical as the first. Thank You is both a love letter to his wife, Nicole Kidman, and a guided tour through two years Urban spent finding a self that was happy enough to bring you the rest of "Defying Gravity."