For Keith Urbans sixth studio album, Get Closer, the singer-songwriter dives even deeper into the explorations of love and relationships that have established him as one of the world's biggest country music starswhile also extending his rock & roll side, as his hard-charging guitar work reaches new heights. The album is the follow-up to 2009's Grammy-winning and platinum selling Defying Gravity, which entered Billboard's pop and country charts at No. 1, and spun off five Top Ten hits, including the chart-toppers "Sweet Thing" and "Only You Can Love Me This Way."
For Keith, the songs on the new album build on ideas that he introduced the last time around. "On Defying Gravity I started touching upon the theme of the courage to love," he says. "Its all well and good to say, 'I cant find anybody to love, I wish I could find someone to love.' But do I have the courage to love? Am I willing to open my heart and give the sword to my partner and go, 'All right, I trust you, absolutely and completely?' "
The ambition for Get Closer is made explicit right on the cover. "The title is multifaceted," says Keith, "because my instincts have always been to run from things that are good for me, to run from love. I have always run from intimacy, and marriage has been a real awakening for me in looking at that very differently. Thats what the title really refers to."
New Zealand-born and Australia-raised, Keith Urban moved to Nashville in 1992. His first American album came as a member of The Ranch (1997), followed by an increasingly accomplished series of multi Platinum-selling solo albums: Keith Urban (1999), Golden Road (2002), Be Here (2004), and Love, Pain & the whole crazy thing (2006). The compilation Greatest Hits: 19 Kids (2008) included such No. 1 hits as "But For The Grace Of God," "Somebody Like You" (which was named the top country song of the decade), "Who Wouldnt Wanna Be Me," "Youll Think Of Me," "Days Go By," "Making Memories Of Us," "Better Life," and "You Look Good In My Shirt."
Keith has been honored with Grammy Awards, Country Music Association Awards, Academy of County Music Awards, a Peoples Choice Award, American Music Award and Australias coveted Aria Award. His remarkable musical gifts have also brought him to places where country superstars have rarely gone before, including such very recent appearances as a blazing rendition of the Rolling Stones' classic "Tumblin' Dice" on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon, and a powerful rendition of "Lean on Me" alongside Kid Rock and Sheryl Crow on the Hope for Haiti telethon.
Yet as Get Closer illustrates, rather than rely on formula, Keith continues to innovate with his music. The sound of the album expands the contrast between old and new styles that has underpinned much of his previous work. "I love using drum machines when I write," he says, "and I love the juxtaposition of a great, funky '80s drum machine with a banjo. Merging those instruments together was something I was really drawn towe got to a certain point on the record, but Id like to keep exploring it more."