Keith Urban – “I’m In”

Sam Gazdziak | May 12th, 2010

keith-urban-im-inSongwriters: Radney Foster & Georgia Middleman.

The last time Keith Urban covered a Radney Foster song, the result was “Raining on Sunday,” a #3 hit for him in 2003. The question would be why it took him so long to go back to that particular well, but the timing is actually perfect. Presumably, all royalties from Urban’s new single, “I’m In,” will go to clean up Foster’s basement.

The song previously has been recorded by Foster with Abra Moore, and was later a minor success as a single for twin sister duo The Kinleys. In other words, this is probably the first version of the song that most mainstream country fans have ever heard. While not as good as the original, it’s a good introduction to the song. Foster has written many songs that realistically portray the wealth of human emotion, and this one fairly accurately describes that first heady rush of love, when you can’t quite put into words what you’re feeling in your heart.

Urban follows the blueprint set by the previous versions when it comes to delivering his energetic, uptempo vocal performance, not drifting too far from the mark at any point. The bridge is the key part of the song, and Urban nails it, singing with the longing and urgency of someone making his declaration of love and promising to “show you how good it can be.”

Unfortunately, he follows that tender moment up with a screaming guitar solo that sounds more like a Richie Sambora outtake than anything else. It’s completely out of place with the rest of the track and overwhelms the second half of it. Just because you’re a guitar virtuoso, you don’t have to demonstrate it on every cut.

Several of the singles from Urban’s Defying Gravity have been middle-of-the-road affairs, neither offending nor exciting. “’Til Summer Comes Around” and “I’m In” have been much better releases, and if Urban continues to explore the country-pop world, one hopes that he’ll continue to head in that musical direction.

Thumbs Up

  1. Jim Malec
    May 12, 2010 at 2:43 pm

    The fact that every single mention of this song I’ve seen notes the Kinleys’ version says something about the staying power of The Kinleys.

  2. Thomas
    May 12, 2010 at 3:15 pm

    …sounds like urban, looks like urban, feels like urban. it’s a duck.

  3. J.R. Journey
    May 12, 2010 at 3:20 pm

    I hadn’t put together that The Kinleys had a single called ‘I’m In’, or that this might be a cover of it, until I heard Urban’s version. I agree with Jim about their staying power in country fans’ minds – this seems to be true for almost any artist that had at least one hit to resonate with their audience. Other songs by the duo that I liked, and still play sometimes, are ‘Please’, ‘Just Between You and Me’, and ‘Somebody’s Out There Watching’. They had a really neat, groovy and bluesy sound that complimented their harmonies nicely. I liked them a lot.

    Getting back on topic, I like Keith’s recording of ‘I’m In’ just as much as The Kinleys’, having not heard the Randey Foster recording. I will add that with the guitar licks, Keith has made it sound more like one of his own songs than I expected. He made it his own.

  4. Leeann Ward
    May 12, 2010 at 3:41 pm

    This is the first Urban song that I’ve liked in awhile. It has great energy, though I agree that the guitar stuff at the end is a bit much. I haven’t really compared the three versions, but I think this one stands up pretty well from what I remember.

  5. Stormy
    May 12, 2010 at 3:44 pm

    Why can’t we have Radney Foster covering Radney Foster instead of Keith Urban?

  6. Leeann Ward
    May 12, 2010 at 4:02 pm

    Radney’s still covering himself.

  7. granna
    May 12, 2010 at 4:30 pm

    Stormy, it’s like Sam said, Rodney’s got to get his basement cleaned up…who better to make a hit off one of his songs than Keith Urban! I love this song. At first I wasn’t really excited that he released it but I’m really liking it a lot! You should have seen him on Jimmy Fallon last night doing Tumbling Dice by Rolling Stones! He was awesome. He had the 2 girls from Little Big Town and Sarah Buxton backing him and the Stones keyboardist and a horn section! Great!

  8. Urban Country Blog
    May 12, 2010 at 4:48 pm

    “when you can’t quite put into words what you’re feeling in your heart” – Which is why I like the screaming guitar at the end. For me, it represents all the joy you feel when you’re falling in love, joy too intense to express in words. Or is that just me? :)

    I hope Radney can get a #1 hit out of this!

  9. Noah Eaton
    May 12, 2010 at 4:55 pm

    Though I consider “Defying Gravity” an underwhelming release from Keith Urban that simply doesn’t size up to its predecessor in ambition and texture, I believe he has released all but one of the finest moments from the record to radio (minus “Kiss A Girl”).

    “Sweet Thing” was a fine lead single, “Only You Can Love Me This Way” holds up in his collection of ballads, “Til’ Summer Comes Around” is by far one of his absolute best records to date for its haunting emotional appeal, and this is a worthy read of Foster’s record without sounding like a retread.

    I only wish the overall album could have been more memorable and interesting. It just feels like a diluted representation of Keith Urban’s talent. Still, I’m pleased with the singles this era.

  10. Alicia
    May 12, 2010 at 5:10 pm

    I love all the songs on “Defying Gravity”. It is so upbeat and pleasant and I never get tired of listening to it. I think “I”m In” is one of the best songs on the album and I wish Keith all the luck he deserves. He is a great artist and I LOVE his songs!!!

  11. Nicolas
    May 12, 2010 at 5:32 pm

    I haven’t heard this one quite yet, but I love “Til Summer Comes Around” – def the best song he’s ever released that I’ve heard

  12. Rick
    May 12, 2010 at 6:35 pm

    Granna said: “You should have seen him on Jimmy Fallon last night doing Tumbling Dice by Rolling Stones! He was awesome. He had the 2 girls from Little Big Town and Sarah Buxton backing him and the Stones keyboardist and a horn section!”

    Gosh, I sure hope that winds up on YouTube! Its not very often Karen Fairchild and Sarah Buxton share the same stage! I’m sure even with the volume way down I’ll still like it! (lol)

  13. Steve Harvey
    May 12, 2010 at 7:35 pm
  14. stormy
    May 12, 2010 at 7:37 pm

    granna
    May 12, 2010 at 4:30 pm Permalink Stormy, it’s like Sam said, Rodney’s got to get his basement cleaned up…who better to make a hit off one of his songs than Keith Urban!

    Radney Foster.

    The best version of this song is the live one on Radney’s Are You Ready for the Big Show.

  15. Rick
    May 12, 2010 at 8:17 pm

    Steve, thanks for the link! Keith had one of the best looking and sounding groups of backing vocalists I’ve ever seen! (lol) Keith’s voice didn’t really suit the song, but was better than most of his own material since his “Ranch” days…

    Radney Foster has a concert here in LA tonight but it starts at 7 PM. My boss is leaving town for a week and a half early tomorrow morning and probably won’t give me final instructions until well after 7 PM tonight! Crikey, what bad timing…

  16. Alice Johnson
    May 12, 2010 at 9:01 pm

    I Love this song, I love Defying Gravity and listen to it over and over and never get tired of it. I have ALL of Keith Urban’s CD’s and he never repeats and does the virtualy the same CD, just a little different songs, ever. He is a virtuoso guitarist, singer, writer, and plays many other instruments as well! The man is amazing and when you see him live you know there is NO ONE like him. Baton Rouge coming up and I cannot wait!!

  17. Steve Harvey
    May 13, 2010 at 12:39 am

    he never repeats and does the virtualy the same CD, just a little different songs, ever.
    Actually, I’d argue that’s exactly what BE HERE is – done to the formula set out in GOLDEN ROAD. Not that I’m complaining, it was a very good formula and worked very well the second time out, but you could you swap tracks around from either records and not notice.

  18. Stephen H.
    May 13, 2010 at 12:45 am

    It sounds like, production-wise, they tried making this song into “Once in a Lifetime”, as the songs sound very similar. “Once in a Lifetime” happens to be my least favorite Urban song ever. So unfortunately I’m a little biased against it right now. I’m sure I’ve heard the Kinleys version before, so I guess I need to look it up to remind me and make some comparisons. But on this version I’m not a fan of the drumloop at the beginning, the overdone guitar solo, or the indulgent soft bridge in the middle (again, a nod to his earlier single).

  19. WAYNOE
    May 13, 2010 at 8:42 am

    Urban is a die-hard country act about like Eminem is a gospel recording artist. Urban’s really a pure a pop act. Not saying he isn’t good, but purely pop.

    He does reverence Don Williams so he is not totally classless or clueless.

  20. Karen
    May 13, 2010 at 10:59 am

    I love Keith Urban’s music! If you have never seen him live, you are missing a great time! He rocks the house! I have seen him 5 times and plan to see him again this year. Never get tired of his concerts because he changes it up so they are never quite the same.

  21. Karen
    May 13, 2010 at 11:00 am

    PLUS…he is soooooo easy on the eyes!

  22. Michelle
    May 13, 2010 at 12:37 pm

    I like it and I remember the lyrics. It had to be Radneys version and I liked it then, too! I wish I could hear Radneys so I could compare them.

  23. Steve Harvey
    May 13, 2010 at 4:56 pm

    He does reverence Don Williams so he is not totally classless or clueless.
    I have little doubt that Urban is a huge fan of country music – he also loves the Hag and Charley Pride – and it’s a strong influence on his pop music. After all, the Stones were strongly influenced by country, but I don’t think anyone would call them a country band.

  24. stormy
    May 13, 2010 at 8:10 pm
  25. Jon
    May 13, 2010 at 9:28 pm

    That’s exactly the point – no one calls the Rolling Stones a country act, but pretty much everyone calls Keith Urban a country act. Evidently there’s something you’re missing.

  26. Michelle
    May 13, 2010 at 9:34 pm

    Thanks, Stormy, you did better than me. I googled it and found not one single “I’m In” video or song by Radney. It was his version that I loved! It’s so hard to hear on YT when it’s live, because of all the TALKING! I don’t understand, what in the hell is everybody talking about at a concert? If I had a friend talking to me, I would politely say, “SHUT UP!” I think I’ll buy his cd!

  27. stormy
    May 13, 2010 at 10:02 pm

    Get Are You Ready for the Big Show, it has the best version.

  28. Michelle
    May 13, 2010 at 10:38 pm

    I will! That’s another reason I like The 9513, you hear of artists that you haven’t heard from in years. After a little digging around, you find out they are still making music or was until recently. Someone mentioned “McBride And The Ride” awhile back and I thought,”Wow, I haven’t heard from them in years!” Talk about HARMONY! CHILLS!!!

  29. stormy
    May 13, 2010 at 10:53 pm

    Radney’s new album is Revival, but it doesn’t have I’m In on it.

  30. Ben Milam
    May 13, 2010 at 11:35 pm

    its on “this world we live in”.

  31. Matt Bjorke
    May 14, 2010 at 3:10 pm

    “I’m In” was on Radney’s “See What You Want To See” album for Arista.

  32. Kyle
    May 17, 2010 at 5:54 pm

    I generally like this song and think Urban sounds good with it, but I think it’s getting a little too much street cred for having Radney Foster’s name on it. After the first line of the chorus, you’ve got:

    “I would be the best damn poet;
    Silver words out of my mouth.
    My words might not be magic,
    But they cut straight to the truth.
    So if you need a lover and a friend,
    Baby, I’m in.”

    I mean, come on. If this had been an Urban/Powell cowrite, I don’t think this chorus would be getting such a warm reception.. that’s about as corny and unconversational as you get (not to mention neither the ‘magic’ or ‘truth’ line has a rhyme). Meh.

  33. numberonecountryfan
    May 18, 2010 at 10:21 am

    Chart run for I’m In so far:
    60-52-29
    Very impressive!

  34. Melvin
    June 2, 2010 at 9:30 am

    Thumbs up? There’s absolutely nothing the slightest bit country sounding about this song. I like Keith a lot, but this one sounds exactly like something Jon Bon Jovi would sing. I give this one a big thumbs down.

  35. Michelle
    June 2, 2010 at 9:45 am

    I like Keith Urban a lot, but not crazy about his version of “I’m In.” I like Radneys version better. That Radney Foster is pretty darn hot and sexy with those glasses of his!LOL! Mmmmmmmmmmmmmmm, BABY!!!!

  36. Lissa
    July 20, 2010 at 8:14 am

    To anyone who says Keith Urban is no real country fan, you should definitely google his older covers and songs like Homespun Love. He’s as real of a country fan as any other country artist.

    As for the review on this song, great! I’m a huge fan of this song. It’s fantastic! Who ever said country had to be depressing? What about that point in time when you get over the girl who broke your heart, caused you to drink a million bears and took everything you had except your dog?

    You move on. You find someone new. You fall again. :) I’m In!

Tagged In This Article

// // //

Current Discussion

  • Barry Mazor: Thanks for explaining that to me, Luckyol.
  • luckyoldsun: Barry, I think you're taking it a bit too seriously. CMT has to keep coming up with new lists to make. …
  • Barry Mazor: Thi is a world in which the "top 40 most influential country artists of all time" do not include, for …
  • luckyoldsun: I just noticed that Garth and King George are still to come. So unless I'm missing something else, the remaining seven …
  • Leeann Ward: I hate it when people pronounce the days of the week with a "dy" ending instead of "day." It's like …
  • luckyoldsun: Looking at that bizarre CMT Artists' list with Johnny Cash coming in at #8, it raises the question--Who are the …
  • Leeann Ward: I'd have to agree with LOS here. The song was fair game to be released. It's no surprised that it …
  • luckyoldsun: "'Brotherly Love,' IS a Keith Whitley song. Trying to take advantage of the impact sales, and the tragedy of Keith’s …
  • Leeann Ward: Yes, we know that it's technically a Keith Whitley song, as Juli noted above.
  • Six String Richie: It's great to hear that Sundy Best has a new album coming out. I really encourage anybody that reads …

Recently Reviewed Albums

  • deadmanstown
  • tom t hall storytellers
  • paulthorntooblessed
  • duhksbeyondtheblue
  • kelleymickwee
  • sandrarhodes
  • candi staton
  • sturgillsimpsonmetamodern