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Keith Urban

Golden Road – 2002 (Capitol Nashville)

Reviewed by Robert Loy

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CDs by Keith Urban

When your first album goes gold, yields four hit singles (including a number one) and nets you the CMA Horizon Award, a sophomore slump is something of a foregone conclusion. Keith Urban may indeed suffer that fate, but it won't be because his second CD is weaker than the first.

This finds Keith taking more chances, whether he's singing of spiritual matters in "You're Not Alone Tonight" or of overcoming addiction on "You're Not My God." It's a more personal album as well, (and not just because 6 of the 12 tracks contain some form of the first person singular pronoun (I, me, my) in the title,) it's obvious that the filial love expressed in "Song For Dad" and the post-breakup bitterness on "You'll Think of Me" are both genuine.

There's still plenty of fun stuff too, most notably the first single "Somebody Like You" and "Who Wouldn't Want to be Me." The writing talent the young Australian displayed on his first CD is even stronger here. It's a good thing he can write too, because his choice in covers leaves much to be desired. "Jeans On" was an inexplicable 1978 hit for one-hit-wonder David Dundas. Keith gives it his all, but there's only so much he can do with it. (It is, after all, three and a half minutes of a guy talking about pulling on his pants.)

P.S. Don't miss the hidden track at the end of the CD, the hilarious "One-Chord Song."