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Keith Urban

Keith Urban – 1999 (Capitol)

Reviewed by Robert Loy

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CDs by Keith Urban

keith urban. Is that a joke? Isn't it just a tad ironic that a guy who insists on spelling his name with all lower case letters is working for Capitol Records? And considering the fact that he hails from a place in Queensland Australia called Caboolture that is not quite sophisticated enough to qualify as a boondock, shouldn't he call himself "keith rural"?

Oh well, Aussie Urban - sorry, urban - seems harmless enough at first. Kind of an older Bryan White. His first solo CD - he put out one record in 1997 with a band you never heard of called The Ranch - is full of the same ain't-married-life-grand tunes ("I Wanna Be Your Man (Forever)"; "You're The Only One"; "Your Everything") so ubiquitous these days. His musical conservativeness is obvious on the first single "It's a Love Thing" which has to be a homage to former president George Bush.

But force yourself to listen a little more carefully. This seeming lightweight has a heavy agenda. urban wants to incorporate hip-hop into C&W. He wants to marry "computer percussiveness with banjos and acoustic guitars." "Computer percussiveness?" Is this what passes for innovation these days? Vanilla Ice in a cowboy hat?