Wednesday, March 18, 2009

How's that new muse working for you now, Keith?

Maybe he should start attending more music classes with Sunday Rose. The first review of the CD is out and it ain't pretty... Two out of five stars from Rolling Stone. Ouch!

Keith Urban plays it so safe on Defying Gravity, you'd think he got a musical lobotomy when he went to rehab. The album depicts an idyllic America, where young'uns suffer innocent heartache like so many Fifties teenagers. There's no economic crisis, no war and only one track ("Thank You") that hints at his marriage to Nicole Kidman and his highly publicized relapse. Instead, we get couples kissin' on a porch swing ("Sweet Thing"), a dusty old boardwalk (" 'Til Summer Comes Around") and slick guitar solos that are ready–made for the arenas. If this wasn't the same guy who put out the ambitious Love, Pain & the Whole Crazy Thing three years ago, you could blame Nashville. But Urban has proved that he's capable of much better.

MARK KEMP

http://www.rollingstone.com/reviews/album/26655416/review/26749487/defying_gravity

30 comments:

maclen said...

Well, that's another opinion that the new "teen dream" is pretty low on substance and high on shallow fluff...that tv jingle option could be useful to the orb in the future.

maclen said...

So, as a companion piece to the album review...here's a review of a recent live show...

http://popwatch.ew.com/popwatch/2009/03/keith-urban-hou.html

Keith Urban whoops it up at the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo

..skipping the mandatory mention of kidman...a few choice quotes..."I'll forgive Urban's rocky start: a lackluster "Days Go By" drifted into a flubbed "You're My Better Half," and no one was singing when he asked them to." "His guitar prowess is, as promised, completely staggering live -- yet, in my opinion, nothing I saw tonight was anywhere near as self-indulgent as live guitar prowess tends to be." (As I noted at his "gigging" on two other performers numbers at the Grammys...he was outpicked by john mayer) and in conclusion..."Finally, in conclusion, and to sum up, this was a decent performance that wouldn't be memorable save for one unbelievable moment of showmanship: At the top of "You Look Good In My Shirt," Keith Urban went rogue, climbed down from the stage, and began to jog a lap around Reliant..." So the highlight of this "musical" gig was when he "jogged" around the stadium? Boy, has the bar fallen that low for the poor ol' orb? Well this reviewer seemed to be very impressed by that! Last quote from the review..."And because ACM fan voting just opened, and I know this will start a fight: Who's your entertainer of the year, Urban or Chesney? I'm not saying I've got an opinion. I just wonder if Chesney would have run that lap." I guess other than a future as a "jingle-ist"... the orb has a promising future in track and field...because you know as the review points out..."...as Keith Urban did something tonight that I've never seen another rodeo performer try -- and yes, that does include Garth Brooks, George Strait, and late-80's-era Huey Lewis. Suspense!".... Whooooaaaa! the orb runs!

notachance said...

Really Mark Kemp? I should even believe any opinion you have on this album when you actually called LPATWCT ambitious?

CHOICE said...

Regarding the live show review (thanks Maclen), do you get the feeling Keith was trying to copy Coldplay's Chris Martin running around a stadium last weekend in Sydney during the huge Bushfire Relief concert - this was during their performance of one of their hits? Mmm, perhaps Keith saw that on TV or YouTube and thought he might copy to try and get the same reaction.

Bstnactrs said...

I'm not sure how much stock I can give to this review if this guy thought LPATWCT was ambitious.

Imahick said...

It's not new for Keith to climb down into the crowd (or up into the crowd, as the moment fits) or to run around an arena. He's been doing that for years... So...it sounds to me that this guy had never seen Keith live. I don't get the impression that he's a big Keith Urban fan!

The thing I've noticed from reading quite a few reviews is that Keith is making mistakes...missing lyrics etc. I think he prefers to spend his time with "his everything" instead of rehearsing for his shows. After all, why would you take the time to rehearse when your fans will pay for you to do it!

This is preparation for his tour. By the time he starts that in May, he should have most of the lyrics figured out.

maclen said...

CHOICE said...
"Regarding the live show review (thanks Maclen), do you get the feeling Keith was trying to copy Coldplay's Chris Martin running around a stadium last weekend in Sydney during the huge Bushfire Relief concert..."

Well, choice based on many comments on here last year on his last live gigs where he seemed to have had his standard stock lines repeated at every gig...I wonder if this "stadium lap", which you say chris martin of coldplay already did at that relief gig...is gonna be an oft repeated feature of the orb's shows? Well, the reviewer of his show seemed very very inpressed by it...but not much by the actual music or performance! Or does he change the show up...and maybe next gig...he pulls out a couple of trampolines and jumps over the crowds heads...or gets himself cabled up and flies over their heads... all "peter pan" like? Cheap novelty is an easy out for creatively bankrupt performers. Anyone ever seen "This is Spinal Tap?"

doublewide said...

ha! the AMBITIOUS LPATWCT?????? like some of you said...i don't put alot of stock in this guy's opinion....geez louise

notachance said...

"wonder if this "stadium lap", which you say chris martin of coldplay already did at that relief gig...is gonna be an oft repeated feature of the orb's shows?"

maclen - this is not new for Keith. He has been doing this for quite a few years, quite the snoozefest that he's continuing it actually - but only if that's really going to happen in the actual tour. This wasn't the new tour show at all, so we have to wait & see.

maclen said...

doublewide said...
"ha! the AMBITIOUS LPATWCT?????? like some of you said...i don't put alot of stock in this guy's opinion....geez louise"

Hey dw...what up? Surely this guys take on the "crazy thing" gives a little pause...but since I've been calling the "appearance" of the orbs next cd track list as being somewhat "maturity deprived"...I gotta agree with it. But take a leap of a logic in that if this dude thought that the down earner "crazy thing" cd with the orbs own fans was "ambitious"...the new cd must be pretty lackluster in comparsion. And that for me is not too great a leap. What are your thoughts on the new cd, dw?

doublewide said...

well, maclen, i don't think i've listened to every song, but i do agree it does sound "maturity deprived" and keith has shown us he is capable of so much more. GR and BH being two examples...

i'm afraid i don't have high hopes for this new cd and i hope i'm wrong, but gee he is 41 so why can't he write a little bit more mature material? he's had lots of experiences beyond the first love thing. looks to me like he could pull something up from those to write about.

i really need to listen to the whole thing....just haven't had time!

hoosierlady said...

I read a while back one of his peers in the industry, I guess that's what you'd call him said that the 'powers that be' in Nashville "encourage" him to write and perform radio hits and love songs kind of thing because it's audience/money making, and he does as he is told. I don't know anything about any of this, just threw that in there for a topic of discussion. It would seem to me by this time he should be able to decide for himself what, where and when, but maybe there are things regarding his finances I do not know. He was a junkie, so maybe he snorted/injected away all his money? Seems pretty hard for me to believe, but?

A440 said...

This album, with the exception so far of "Summer," looks to be a throw-away. Could Keith and Dann have unloaded some of Keith's weakest songs in anticipation of leaving CapNash?

Or is this really what Keith's sound is reduced to? I mean, this stuff is light-years away from "Man of the House" and "Tangled Up In Love." It's another giant leap away from some of his finest work.

stillhopefull said...

So far this does not sound very hopefull for Keith. That in itself makes me sad. I have been one to think that he should have just taken a hiatus after the so-called rehab hurry up and get out there to show I am just fine. I do not believe he went to rehab to the right reasons, but do however think something profoundly changed for him in there. I in no way support this union because I do not for one second believe it to be a true one. Seeing what this wonderful marriage has done for his ability to be able to put out good music is very disturbing to say the least. Sometimes people just need to take a complete break from things in order to be able to come back better than before. I truely believe this is where he has been for the past 2 years. What ever shit he as gotten himself into is larger than any most could handle. Perhaps a step back to really be able to deal the the situation at hand is necessary. Surely not what his bosses or his fans want, but a necessary evil non the less. I just think that if he could deal 100% with his family in order to feel comfortable with the situation he is in, he may fare a heck of a lot better with the inspiration for some really good music. Many muscians go away for awhile and come back stronger than ever! I just think he is spreading himself way to thin and everybody involved is suffering for it. Him most of all.

Imahick said...

You may be right, stillhopeful. I do think he was pressured to promote that CD and tour even though he wasn't ready. And he was obviously pushed to get this one out.

I actually took the time to listen to the songs on the iLike site today. I liked most of them, especially Til Summer Comes Around. I thought it was a stunning song...very beautiful / haunting. I think it can be as good as any of his previous singles.

I liked the others too. In fact, I think I liked Kiss a Girl the least.

I was only able to listen to the first five releases, but I think it holds promise. It is too bad that there isn't more variety ... but they aren't all fluff love songs, that I have to say. I think that I'm going to wait til the CD is out before I pass judgement, but I am actually more optimistic than I was before, after hearing the songs.

Urban Myths said...

O/T here... but did you see this?

Nicole Kidman to be the next Hollywood star visiting India

Spicezee Bureau

Los Angeles, March 21: The list of Hollywood A-listers doing the rounds of India is getting longer by the day. This time it is the Oscar-winning stunner Nicole Kidman.

The actor is mixing pleasure with profession in a single move. She will be in Udaipur shooting for her upcoming film ‘The Eighth Wonder’. Kidman is reported to stay in the picturesque ‘Lake Palace Hotel’ in the city. Then she will visit friends in New Delhi on March 23.

Though details of her film are under tight wraps, grapevine has it that Kidman will be playing a female version of Indiana Jones. The story reportedly revolves around an archaeological discovery that sets off a thrilling race around the world.

http://www.spicezee.com/articles/story25925.htm

woriedmonkey said...

Thought y'all at Urban Myths would find it interesting, if not ironic, that on DG, Keith covers Radney Crowell's 'I'm In" the first line of which goes something like this;
(apologies if not exact)

"Love is not a contract, I give you this, you give me that".

... hmmm, suppose Mr. Keith is sending a covert FU to all of those contact marriage theorists on the boards ?


Anywho..... reviewers aren't to be taken too seriously.
Another critic could just have easily praised Urban for his refreshing return to innocence and a poppier retro throwback sound.

Personally, I would have liked a little more shadow mixed in with the light but I have to say, "Standing Right in Front of You"... which he cowrote with the P the New Radicals' producer is pure pop bliss ( reminds me of Todd Rundgren's I Saw The Light). And while "My Heart Is Open" reminds me of some of the beautiful acoustic songs which he never committed to an album as far as I know ( UNder The Influence of Love, Sometimes Angels Can' Fly), I wouldnt write
KU off just yet. I think the album will do very well.. better than LovePain.

I think, despite the calculation everyone accuses him of, KU really does have a pure, idealistic and sentimentally naive side which comes across as simplistic but is also, in his case I believe, sweetly genuine.

Having said that, "Used To The Pain' (one of my faves) looks like Tolstoy in comparison to Sweet Thing .

We'll see..

hesaweiner said...

If he thought the painful album was ambitious..this one must suck reeeaaallly bad.

maclen said...

Urban Myths said...
"O/T here... but did you see this?

Nicole Kidman to be the next Hollywood star visiting India"

Seems very very early for this film, which was announced only this past Sept by kidman BFF murdoch's Fox (of course) , to be in production already. And once again I get the opportunity to type..."produced" and starring film by kidman? I certainly believe H... E... double hockey sticks will freeze over before we ever see one of those ever actually get made. A big action packed "indy-esque" film starring kidman? Even for the recently "shooked up" murdoch movie and tv heads empire, is murdoch that stupid? We shall see soon enough I guess.

A440 said...

worriedmonkey said:

(apologies if not exact)

"Love is not a contract, I give you this, you give me that".

... hmmm, suppose Mr. Keith is sending a covert FU to all of those contact marriage theorists on the boards ?


I'm not sure if he's flipping the bird to all those theorists, but he's also said that he's been wanting to cover that song since Golden Road.

And, just to confuse the issue, consider the possibility that he's talking TO Nicole. There were certainly contract negotiations going on, including the day of the wedding. Maybe she has waved the papers in his face at some point, as in "You promised me a child"?

He's mentioned a number of times that the songs he sings, and especially the ones he writes, are idealized versions of the kind of life he wants to lead and the man he wants to be.

inittowinit said...

The maturity issues doesn't bother me much. I recognize it but it doesn't bother me. I hear a lot of people say the newer music doesn't "touch" them or that they can't relate to it as much. While I absolutely undertand that, there are sometimes I don't want to "relate" to a song. When I'm down, I don't need a son to which I can relate, to bring me down further. LOL When I'm happy and upbeat, most any happy song with a great tempo makes me relate to it. When I'm more neutral, I often don't listen to the words anyway. I listen to the music/rhythm to determine if I like it, then I turn it up and listen to the words later. The ones that have a bad rhythm, I often skip over in the future. Some have surprised me once I have heard them live. There are times though, that his music in the past has really "touched" and "inspired" me. That is the piece I see missing from the new stuff. I REALLY like some of these new songs. I would not however, say any have touched or inspired me to make change, do better, or handle situations a certain way. That's OK however. Right now, I just want to hear good music. I'm not sure Keith Urban has anything to say to me anyway, that would be meaningful to my life because I'm not I would believe any of his inspiring messages while he's still married to her and living what I consider to be a hypocritical life....

doublewide said...

Thought y'all at Urban Myths would find it interesting, if not ironic, that on DG, Keith covers Radney Crowell's 'I'm In" the first line of which goes


worried monkey, it's Radney Foster who wrote "I'm In" not Rodney Crowell, who wrote MMOU.

i agree with initowinit on the hypocritical comment.

some of the songs on DF don't sound too bad.

and worried monkey i liked a few songs on the pain cd, one of them being "Used to the Pain". but when you look at what the man is capable of, the cd fell pretty short IMO....lord, have mercy, i hope DG is better.

A440, i believe it was had an interesting theory of these songs being thrown out there to Capitol records. hmmmmmm

and NK playing an Indiana Jones type character??? puhleeeeeeeez spare us

woriedmonkey said...

Thanks for the correction Doublewide... and while correcting... the first line of 'I'm In' is actually,

"Love doesn't come with a contract......"

Choice said...

Well, all the best Nicole if you think the viewing public could take you seriously as a female type Indiana Jones. Get a grip! Are you that desperate to try and re-invent your career? It's all about credibility, something you don't have. Can you imagine her doing her own stunts? No, her double would be doing all those. Nicole's boney frame would not handle the jumping off cliffs. Nor would her hairpieces. Still, if anything the film would make for a good laugh. A botoxed Indiana Jones roaming through jungles in stilettos with not a hint of dirt on her. Actually yes, bring it on ...

maclen said...

So, Indian newssites are claiming kidman has landed in India...

http://www.spicezee.com/articles/story26079.htm

...strangely none of the sites has any pics...but I'm sure if kidman is in fact in India, keep an eye on Justjared or Gossip girls for the "exclusive"... or is that "official" photos. I'm still dubious about the "filming" of Eight Wonder for the possible reason for a possible trip to India...but I'm sure inept team kidman wouldnt pass up the chance to attempt to shill for kidman's dead film career.

Urban Myths said...

Actually, she's there to film a commercial! Hahahaha!

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/Entertainment/Arjun-shoots-with-Nicole-Kidman/articleshow/4304578.cms

Arjun shoots with Nicole Kidman
24 Mar 2009, 0000 hrs IST, MARK MANUEL , TNN


... for an ad film being produced by Sir Ridley Scott and directed by Shekhar Kapur Arjun Rampal More Pics


Bollywood hunks, eat your hearts out. Nicole Kidman, yes — the same, is in India this week and the only desi star who gets to meet the gorgeous Oscar-winning actress and actually work with her is our Arjun Rampal.

Kidman, as reported earlier, is not here to shoot her next film The Eight Wonder in Jaipur, in which she plays a female Indiana Jones on an archaelogical discovery that takes her on a race around the world. Nor is the Australian actress here to meet friends in New Delhi. Kidman has actually come to shoot an ad film for a carbonated water and ginger ale beverage company and Rampal will feature in it with her.

The ad is being made by British producer-director Sir Ridley Scott, whose recent films American Gangster and Body of Lies were huge successes worldwide, and directed by Shekhar Kapur. It will be shot over five days in Udaipur starting today. For a non-filmy Hollywood-Bollywood collaboration featuring one of the world’s highest-paid actors, a local hero, and two celebrated filmmakers, it does not get bigger than this.

Rampal, who was recommended to Ridley Scott’s production house by Shekhar Kapur, is delighted with this sudden assignment that comes in between his work for Bollywood. The Rock On!! actor, who is working on the films Rajniti, Housefull and Kunal, was once a hot and in demand supermodel in Mumbai who did brand endorsements, ad commercials and walked the ramp. But he gave up modelling nine years ago for Bollywood and hasn’t done an ad since then.

“Working with Nicole Kidman is going to be fun,” admitted Rampal who left for Udaipur yesterday. “This is a dream team to work with. I really appreciate Nicole Kidman as an actor, she’s very, very good, and I’m excited to be working with her.” He had no idea whether the sexy actress who was last seen in the film Australia knew that he, too, was an actor. “But she will once she is here,” said Rampal hopefully.


There's a pic with this article..

http://www.google.com/hostednews/afp/article/ALeqM5jdhUzgLjuMenb-lRWsUFVTWqrFIA

nomorefan said...

See - it won't be long. With all these product endorsements, Skank will quit acting to be on QVC!

maclen said...

Urban Myths said...
"Actually, she's there to film a commercial! Hahahaha!"

Yes, with her film career over, she needs to suppliment her budget with any job she can scrape up...even a commercial for "ginger ale"...and no doubt kidman is trying to up the "production"...as she did with her pretensious 10 minute epic Chanel commercial...of the commercial industry, her next career. No doubt kidman is desperately trying to jump on the bollywood...and slumdog millionare... bandwagon. See she is desperate for any opportunities...she is willing to "shill"... offically..for work!

woriedmonkey said...

Oh No........i just heard 'ThankYou' from DG and I'm just shaking my head muttering 'Keith,Keith" to myself.

On the one hand, he obviously don't give two hoots what people think about his saviour (Granny).
In fact, the lyrics reads like one of the parody songs posted here. He literally says that 'You' ( meaning the wife) saved me.... and that she shines brighter than the stars and the sun and the moon. The song is really on the nose about that....

The vocal is so overwraught it's embarrassing and since he also thanks God in the lyrics, he blew his chance to have the metaphorical 'you' be about
god and/or his lover ( like Van Morrison's masterful 'Have I Told You Lately That I Love You' which can be read bpth ways but is actually not secular and about his relationship with his God).

Listen Keith, I really know what it's like to be in a lowdown, addicted, shamefilled, beyond depressed place heading for oblivion and then to have it turned around and to be in deep gratitude because someone opened your heart..... and suddenly you are looking back with tears in your eyes because you really feel you were saved. By now, most of us have to feel browbeaten into believing that he really feels that way..... but how come so few of us can square that with the woman we see and sense is such a phoney ??? Can we all be wrong.

Well, as long as Keith is happy or keeps buying it.
And I'm sure the record will be played at weddings around the globe for all of those folks who feel thier life has been turned around by a person, place or thing.

Choice said...

Thanks for the updates Urban Myths and Maclen. I had fun with that story:

http://nicole-kidman-journey.blogspot.com/2009/03/when-movies-flop-try-overseas.html