© Capitol Nashville
March 19 - 25, 2017
Year of Release: 2016
Gone Tomorrow (Here Today)
John Cougar John Deere
Habit Of You
sun Don't Let Me Down
Gettin' In The Way
Blue Ain't Your Color
Break On Me
Boy Gets A Truck
That Could Still Be Us
Worry 'Bout Nothin'
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Welcome to 21st Century "Country" -- Keith Urban returns this week,
(Be Here), with his most recent release, Ripcord (2016).
Keith Urban's music is categorized as Country, yet on Ripcord, it really is anything BUT Country. Although it is a very well recorded album, it
just isn't really a Country sounding album. But then again, this is "Today's Country," and it does not have a "true Country" sound like it used to,
comparing to Classic Country, especially from the 1970s decade.
"Blue Ain't Your Color" was the huge hit from the album, and I have to agree, it is a great song, regardless being a "Country song." It is
more of an R&B track, maybe even Pop - but, not Country. Also to mention, Ripcord reached #1 on the Billboard Country Albums chart for two weeks,
The album leads with a "Rock Country" song (meaning it sounds more like Rock, with Country) -- "Gone Tomorrow (Here Today)." It has that
familiar banjo riff, as heard from his #1 hit, "Somebody Like You" (2002, Golden Road). "Blue Ain't Your Color" could pass along on the
R&B side, as "John Cougar, John Deere, John 3:16" could do the same. "Wasted Time" could pass along the Christian Rock lines. (Yes, his
first album contained Christian-themed songs. I can see [and hear] Keith Urban recording [another] Christian album, as many Country artists have done
before.) More on the R&B meeting Pop gets the next track, "Habit Of You." "Sun Don't Let Me Down" gets help from Nile Rodgers of Chic fame,
and rapper Pitbull. It has a more Pop sound rather than Country. Of course it does, when you have both a Disco and Rapper artist involved...
The album gets even more better (in a positive way) with the next two tracks, the Pop Country "Gettin' In The Way" and the #1 track mentioned
earlier, "Blue Ain't Your Color." The Pop sound returns with a song that latest Pop sensation Bruno Mars could have recorded, or even helped out
Urban, on "The Fighter." Actually, Carrie Underwood helps out on this song.
"Break On Me" has a soft-Country feel, meeting "today's Country" formats. Speaking of "today's Country," "Boy Gets A Truck" (a common
vehicle in Country titles these days, as with other Country artists with a truck - Kip Moore's "Somethin' 'Bout A Truck") and Jason Aldean's
"Big Green Tractor." Somehow, this song's instrumentation has a reference to U2's "Where The Streets Have No Name." So, if U2 were to
"go Country" ...
"Your Body" has a more Pop style than Country. The ballad "That Could Still Be Us" does meet "today's Country," and could even pass on
Christian formats, with it's style of sound. The last track also has the "today's Country" format, yet it does (again) matches Pop and Rock.
So, is Keith Urban's Ripcord really a Country album? No. Is it a good album? Yes. Labeling it as a "Country album" aside, Keith Urban is a
very talented performer. He is way better than other Country artists of today - such as Luke Bryan, Florida Georgia Line. Way better. Blake Shelton?
Hmm, that's debatable... On another music genre, Pop, Urban is about "this close" to Adam Levine and Maroon 5. Nah, not really, Levine is better. Yet,
this is "today's Country"; where us "old-timers" as myself still relate Country music as what it truly is, based on the best decade in Country when I was
growing up, the 1970s. Ripcord has its fine moments throughout the entire album. It is a very, very well-done album. For "today's Country" fans,
it is a great album for the 21st Century Country. Although it is more of a "Pop Rock" album, it is labeled as a Country album, and it is a good "Country"
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