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Defying Gravity (Keith Urban album): Wikis

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Defying Gravity
Studio album by Keith Urban
Released March 31, 2009 (2009-03-31)(USA)
April 4, 2009 (2009-04-04) (UK)
Genre Country
Label Capitol Nashville
Producer Dann Huff
Keith Urban
Professional reviews
Keith Urban chronology
Greatest Hits: 18 Kids
(2007)
Defying Gravity
(2009)
iTunes Originals
(2009)
Singles from Defying Gravity
  1. "Sweet Thing"
    Released: November 3, 2008
  2. "Kiss a Girl"
    Released: March 10, 2009
  3. "Only You Can Love Me This Way"
    Released: June 29, 2009
  4. "'Til Summer Comes Around"
    Released: November 23, 2009

Defying Gravity is the title of the fifth studio album by Australian country music artist Keith Urban. It was released on March 31, 2009 (see 2009 in country music) on Capitol Records. The album's lead-off single is "Sweet Thing", which topped the Billboard Hot Country Songs charts in March 2009. "Kiss a Girl" was released on March 7, 2009 as the second single. The album became Urban's first number-one album on the Billboard 200, selling 171,000 copies in its first week of release. On December 2, 2009, the album was nominated for the Grammy Award for Best Country Album.[6]

Contents

Background

The title Defying Gravity comes from the lyrics of "If Ever I Could Love" ("your heart and mine tonight are defying gravity"), a phrase that Urban said "really defined the joyous, optimistic and uplifting spirit that seemed to show itself while making the album."[7] The track "I'm In" was previously released in 1998 by Radney Foster (as a duet with Abra Moore) on the album See What You Want to See, and later in 2000 by The Kinleys[4] from their album II. Both Foster's and The Kinleys' versions were singles.

"Sweet Thing" is the album's lead-off single. Written by Urban and Monty Powell, this song topped the Billboard country singles chart in March 2009. They also wrote the second single, "Kiss a Girl," which peaked at #3 later the same year. "Only You Can Love Me This Way" was released in June 2009 as the album's third single. "My Heart Is Open" was inspired by something that Urban's wife, Nicole Kidman, said when they first started dating. [8] In November 2009, the fourth single "'Til Summer Comes Around" was released and debuted at #41 on the Billboard Hot Country Songs charts.

Critical reception

Defying Gravity has received mostly mediocre reviews from music critics, with most unfavorable reviews saying that the album lacks the variety of his earlier releases. Jonathan Keefe of Slant Magazine gave it two-and-a-half stars out of five, saying that the album lacked the "rawness" of his earlier albums. He also said that most of the songs, including its first two singles, were "retread"s of his earlier hits, and that his vesion of "I'm In" was inferior to The Kinleys'. In addition, he considered the love ballads "schmaltzier impulses", although he also said that it was "a rebound from the bloated, self-indulgent Love, Pain & the Whole Crazy Thing" (Urban's last studio album) and noted that "Sweet Thing" showed Urban's and Huff's ability to use a banjo effectively in a rock-influenced song.[3] Rolling Stone critic Mark Kemp, who gave the album two stars out of five, said that it lacked the ambition of Love, Pain & the Whole Crazy Thing and had "idyllic" themes.[2] Jim Malec, reviewing it for The 9513, gave a two-and-a-half star rating as well. He considered it overproduced and said that it lacked a more "artistically engaging" song to balance out the "lighthearted confection" such as "Sweet Thing." He cited that song and "If I Could Ever Love" as standout tracks, despite also describing the latter as "prefabricated," and added that his "I'm In" cover lacked the "urgency" of The Kinleys' rendition.[4]

Thom Jurek gave a four-out-of-five rating in his review for Allmusic. Jurek also noted Urban's use of banjo in more rock-oriented songs, as well as the variety of instruments used overall. He described the first two singles and the "I'm In" cover favorably, saying of "I'm In" that its backing vocals recalled The Rolling Stones, and he called the final track ("Thank You") a "nakedly open paean to wife Nicole [Kidman]." In addition, Jurek considered the album's sound an expansion on Love, Pain & the Whole Crazy Thing by "seamlessly combining hook-laden crafty songwriting with a pop sensibility in the modern country vernacular that blazes a new trail."[1] In addition, Entertainment Weekly critic Whitney Pastorek gave a B rating, saying that the album had "Kidman-centric lyrics" but also showed "a gift for making radio-baiting hooks and production feel enthusiastically fresh."[5]

Track listing

  1. "Kiss a Girl" (Keith Urban, Monty Powell) - 3:46
  2. "If Ever I Could Love" (Urban, Darrell Brown) - 5:00
  3. "Sweet Thing" (Urban, Powell) - 3:48
  4. "'Til Summer Comes Around" (Urban, Powell) - 5:31
  5. "My Heart Is Open" (Urban, John Shanks) - 5:29
  6. "Hit the Ground Runnin'" (Jerry Flowers) - 3:24
  7. "Only You Can Love Me This Way" (Steve McEwan, John Reid) - 4:07
  8. "Standing Right in Front of You" (Urban, Rick Nowells) - 4:01
  9. "Why's It Feel So Long" (Urban) - 3:24
  10. "I'm In" (Radney Foster, Georgia Middleman) - 4:33
  11. "Thank You" (Urban, Nowells) - 5:14

Promotion

iTunes had an exclusive offer called "Countdown To Defying Gravity" where every week fans would be able to download a podcast where Urban talks about the song. Also, iTunes had a "Complete My Album" where fans would complete the whole album and get a bonus track, a cover, "Call My Name" originally recorded by the Christian band Third Day for their Revelation album.[9]

Urban appeared on Today and The Ellen DeGeneres Show on April 1. He sang "Sweet Thing" and "Kiss A Girl" on both shows. He performed "Kiss a Girl" at the Academy of Country Music awards on April 12.[9]

Chart performance

Upon its release, Defying Gravity reached #1 on the all-genre Billboard 200 albums chart, becoming the first album of Urban's career to do so.[10] It also reached Number One on the country albums charts in the U.S. and Canada. The album has sold in the US 692,000 copies as of December, 2009.

References

  1. ^ a b Jurek, Thom. "Defying Gravity review". Allmusic. http://www.allmusic.com/cg/amg.dll?p=amg&sql=10:0jfexzwkldfe~T1. Retrieved 2009-06-13.  
  2. ^ a b Kemp, Mark (2009-03-17). "Defying Gravity review". Rolling Stone. http://www.rollingstone.com/reviews/album/26655416/review/26749487/defying_gravity. Retrieved 2009-06-13.  
  3. ^ a b Keefe, Jonathan (2009-03-30). "Defying Gravity review". Slant. http://www.slantmagazine.com/music/music_review.asp?ID=1695. Retrieved 2009-06-13.  
  4. ^ a b c Malec, Jim (2009-03-27). "Defying Gravity review". The 9513. http://www.the9513.com/album-review-keith-urban-defying-gravity/. Retrieved 2009-06-13.  
  5. ^ a b Pastorek, Whitney (2009-03-31). "Defying Gravity review". Entertainment Weekly. http://www.ew.com/ew/article/0,,20267723,00.html. Retrieved 2009-06-16.  
  6. ^ "The 52nd Annual Grammy Awards Nominees List",Grammy.com, December 2, 2009
  7. ^ Keith Urban Picks Defying Gravity as Album Title, Country Music Television, January 22, 2009.
  8. ^ My Heart Is Open Songfacts
  9. ^ a b Keith Urban news, keithurban.net
  10. ^ Keith Caulfield, Keith Urban Soars To No. 1 On Billboard 200, Billboard.com, April 8, 2009.
Preceded by
Dance with Me by Johnny Reid
Canadian Country Top 50 number-one album
April 5, 2009
Succeeded by
Unstoppable by Rascal Flatts
Preceded by
Shine by Martina McBride
Top Country Albums number-one album
April 18, 2009
Preceded by
Now! 30 by Various artists
Billboard 200 number-one album
April 18, 2009
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Simple English

Defying Gravity
Studio album by Keith Urban
Released March 31, 2009
April 4, 2009
Genre Country
Language English
Label Capitol Nashville
Producer Dan Huff
Keith Urban
Professional reviews
Keith Urban chronology
Greatest Hits: 18 Kids
(2007)
Defying Gravity
(2009)
iTunes Originals
(2009)

Defying Gravity is the fifth studio album by New Zealand-born Australian country music singer Keith Urban. It was released on March 31, 2009. The producers of the album was Dan Huff and Keith Urban. The album peaked at #1 on the Billboard 200, peaked #1 on the U.S. Billboard Top Country Albums and also peaked #1 on the Canadian Top Country Albums. The album was nominated for a Grammy Award for Best Country Album in 2009. The song "Kiss a Girl" peaked at #1 on the Billboard Hot Country Songs and all the singles from the album peaked at #1 in either the United States or Canada.

Singles from Defying Gravity

  • 2008 - "Sweet Thing"
  • 2009 - "Kiss a Girl"
  • 2009 - "Only You Can Love Me This Way"
  • 2009 - "'Til Summer Comes Around"
  • 2010 - "I'm In"


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