June 25, 2009 — Keith Urban's Defying Gravity is a doggedly upbeat album, and there's good reason for it. He recorded it just last year, not long after he and Nicole Kidman welcomed their first daughter, so the songs came along when he was in an extremely happy place.
"The songs on this album have not been sitting around for years," he told The Raleigh News & Observer. "They're all very new. In some cases, they're only a few months old, even to me... All these songs really capture where I am at this point. Had they been from the previous several years, they would've been very different. I like the fact that these were fresh and I took them straight to the studio, still new. It's very clear and consistent to me."
Keith's concerts likewise lean toward the positive. With "Somebody Like You ," "Better Life," "Who Wouldn't Wanna Be Me" and "Days Go By" setting the tone, the shows are loaded with sing-along choruses, driving tempos and bright images. But the concerts also feature a good share of extended guitar solos and have a stage that's built specifically to allow Keith to meander into the audience on a whim.
"Making a record is not the same as putting on a live show, not the way I do it," Keith said. "They're different forms of art, and the live show has got to be a different experience. Otherwise, you'd just put the CD on at home. I like to put on a really entertaining show, and so do the artists I really love. Garth [Brooks] is a great example. His records are one way, and his concerts are a whole other thing again."
Keith brings his current tour to Milwaukee on Friday, when he'll share the stage with Counting Crows. Taylor Swift opens for him Saturday in Des Moines and Sunday in Moline, Ill. During the Iowa date, he'll also shoot the video for his next single, "Only You Can Love Me This Way."