Keith Urban is a lot of things; musician, performer, media star, celebrity husband, father, son, brother and addict. All of those are important elements in what makes this record work, but it also becomes glaringly obvious that Urban is walking a fine line between perception and reality.
Get Closer is a well crafted record. The musicianship, the production, and the quality of the cover material is all top notch. The reintroduction of typical country instruments such as banjos and mandolins make this record a stronger musical ride than 'Defying Gravity', and not as experimental as 'Love, Pain and the Whole Crazy Thing'. Urban went back to the catalog and looked at what worked. One of the things he missed in that search are the strong lyrics that made both 'Golden Road' and 'Be Here' the diamonds they are. To say that the lyrics on 'Get Closer' are juvenile would be giving them credit where it doesn't belong; that would be a step up; childish is more like it. If only the lyrics complimented the music...
'Put You in A Song' is silly. A 43-year old man with as much experience in life as Urban has had should not be overwhelmed by first love. He is too far removed from being a teen to actually capture that time. Sarah Buxton, who crafted the gorgeous 'Stupid Boy', is a better songwriter than this. Leave the puppy love to Taylor and Justin; they have the audience for that. The rest of the record suffers because of the lyrics, which is sad because songs like Georgia Woods will be great in concert, but won't work for sing-alongs.
'Without You', which was written by someone else but reinterpreted by Urban as a commentary on his current marriage, becomes a hideous show of dependence. Listening to this song makes one wonder if Urban has transferred his chemical dependencies onto his spouse; it is grating. The words to many of the songs indicate that there is in Urban's world the ability to flip the coin from devotion to obsession and dependence. That is depressing because this could have been a good record. 'Shut Out the Lights' has great vocals and could be a big single. Written during the golden era of 2004-2005, it is a lovely song that is mature and thoughtful. The 'Luxury of Knowing' will become an Urban classic. His vocal on this is outstanding and it is about adult topics. Listening to the last two songs makes the rest of the record pale in comparison. Listening to 'Get Closer' makes one wonder what happened to Keith Urban, and what might the future bring?