On The Download: Keith Urban

Keith Urban is a happy, fulfilled, grateful man. The proof is in the music. In his new album, "Defying Gravity," he sings of finding a sense of peace, fulfillment, and self-realization.

Keith has come a long way since playing the smaller, outdoor stage at the country music festivals I attended in the late 90's and early 2000's. Now headlining and playing much bigger venues, he has certainly made a name for himself, and this was long before he became a certain Oscar winner's husband. If only I had known this relative unknown would become one of country music's biggest artists, I probably would have lined up for his "meet and greet" booth at one of those country music bashes instead of getting my hat signed by Ryan Tyler (No offense, Ryan. You're still great!).

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Urban is a consummate and truly skilled guitar player. He even teamed up with another talented country guitar player and singer, Brad Paisley, for Paisley's hit "Start A Band," making for an amazing power duo. Urban's guitar aptitude makes it seem like he was born with a six-string in his hand. But there's definitely more to this album than his fancy, frenetic fretwork.

"Defying Gravity" is full of quintessential, Urban-esque songs. The first two singles off the album, "Kiss A Girl," and "Sweet Thing," embody what he does best. They are fast, fun, and filled with rock and roll nuances.

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"Til Summer Comes Around" shows his sweet, softer side as he laments about the memory of a summer love and the dreariness that September can bring as summer ends and fall and winter are looming. It's one of those "innocence is gone" songs where you have nothing but memories to keep you warm.

"Why's It Feel So Long" is fun, simple, and all too true as he sings about missing someone he just said goodbye to and wondering when he'll see her again. I think it's safe to say we've all been there.

The last song on the album is called, "Thank You." And though it's not stated outright, it's fairly obvious it's about his wife (whom he also profusely thanks in the liner notes). I always think it's pretty cool when you know who the artist is singing about. It makes the song much more personal and intimate.

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After 12 years and six albums, Keith Urban continues to grow and explore new territory with his music. This is his first album as a doting husband and father and it definitely shows.

Keith's tour kicks off in May.

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