Keith Urban – “Without You”
Songwriters: Dave Pahanish, Thomas Walker and Joe West
“Without You,” the second single from Keith Urban’s pseudo EP Get Closer, gives a glimpse into fine-tuned domestic bliss. Against a lazy-day groove, Urban and producer Dann Huff have added little bursts of banjo to display his obvious joy for his home life. While a barrage of percussion mars a good portion of Nashville material, Urban’s songs, though indistinguishable at times, are usually understated. “Without You” is no exception.
With Nicole Kidman serving as his gorgeous inspiration, Urban sings of her love as the consummation of a lifelong dream. In the chorus, it’s made clear that the Academy Award-winning actress doesn’t play second fiddle to an old guitar: “The fast cars, the guitars, they are all just second to/This life, this love that you and I have been dreaming of.”
The passage about daughter Sunday Rose is also a sweet touch (“Along comes a baby girl, and suddenly my little world/Just got a whole lot bigger“) and underscores Urban’s recent sentiments of being more centered as a man and as an artist. Though these odes of devotion are a welcome sign that he’s unburdened himself of his demons, “Without You” is a step sideways in his career. A rare ballad among his recent work, it’s lacking the excitement of past hits.
Marriage has apparently had a terrific effect on him, and no one should begrudge him that fact. But Urban is at his best when exploring the heart’s aches and pains, even as expressed on uptempo tunes like “Days Go By” and “Somebody Like You” that find him seeking comfort in either a sweet companion or the open road. One of the most emotive vocalists in the genre, Urban has chosen a song that might fit his life, but doesn’t feel all that vital or visionary. A pleasant bit of country pop, “Without You” will stick with you for four minutes and no more.
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