DISClaimer: Keith Urban’s “Blue” Ballad Stands Out In A Rock Crowd

Keith Urban

Keith Urban

It’s a testosterone festival.

There are way too many guys in the mix today. Plus, there’s much too much rock music on hand. Trace Adkins, Kane Brown and Chase Rice are all rocking their brains out. So is Jason Aldean, but at least he has the good taste to do so melodically and with production finesse.

Thus, it comes as no surprise that the single that stands out today is a ballad performance. Give Keith Urban the Disc of the Day award.

The DisCovery Award performance belongs to a former college rugby player from North Carolina. Lend Luke Combs your ears. I think you’ll enjoy his sound as much as I did.

LUKE COMBS/Hurricane
Writers: Luke Combs/Thomas Archer/Taylor Phillips; Producer: none listed; Publisher: none listed; River House (track)
– She wrecked his world by coming on like a super storm. The stately pace, echoey atmosphere, macho vocal and screaming guitars come together to cast a dramatic spell. Recommended.

TOBY KEITH/A Few More Cowboys
Writers: Toby Keith/Bobby Pinson/Dean Dillon; Producer: Toby Keith/Bobby Pinson; Publishers: Tokeco/Bobby’s Lyrics Land & Livestock/Do Write/Sixteen Stars/Tenorado/HoriPro, BMI; Show Dog (CDX)
– Adding echo to a voice this powerful is kinda like gilding the lily. But this has a mighty melody and a mighty message. So sing away, bub. Echo and all.

AARON GOODVIN/Woman In Love
Writers: Aaron Goodvin/Bart Butler/Brice Long; Producer: Bart Butler; Publishers: WB/Goodvin Fifty One/Bill Butler/Golden Vault/Woodspring/Blongsongs, ASCAP/BMI/SESAC; Warner Music Canada (AJG) (CDX)
-Pleasant, if ordinary.

JASON ALDEAN/A Little More Summertime
Writers: Jerry Flowers, Tony Martin and Wendell Mobley; Producer: Michael Knox; Broken Bow (ERG)
– Less bombastic and more melodic than usual, which is a welcome change of pace. Also, he wears heartache well. The icing on the cake is a delightful, swirling production.

RYAN FOLLESE/Float Your Boat
Writers: Ryan Follesé, Adrienne Follesé, Jamie Follesé, Keith Follesé, Cameron Montgomery; Producer: Cameron Montgomery; Publishers: Sony/ATV Music Publishing, LLC / Black Saturday Music; BMI; Big Machine (ERG)
– I liked him better when he was a pop artist. That said, this is crunchy and catchy and clever.

TRACE ADKINS/Lit
Writers: Mickey Jack Cones, Monty Criswell, Derek George; Producer: Mickey Jack Cones; Wheelhouse (ERG)
– It lists the ways that things are hot while the production blazes. But it’s all rocked up with no place to go.

KANE BROWN/Thunder In The Rain
Writers: Kane Brown, Josh Hoge, Matthew McVaney; Publishers: Songs of Universal/EMI Foray Music/B Frank Entertainment; BMI/SESAC; RCA (ERG)
– More crashing rock. His vocal performance is kinda cool, but there’s just too much noise around it.

CHASE RICE/Everybody We Know Does
Writers: Jeremy Bussey, Travis Denning; Publishers: Universal Tunes/I’m About To Go Red On Ya Music; SESAC/BMI; Columbia (ERG)
– It’s one of those “country-and-proud-of-it” thangs with a raucous party vibe.

ERIC SOWERS BAND/My Kind of Country
Writers: Eric Sowers; Producer: Gary Carter; Publishers: none listed, BMI; ESB (track)
– This northern Ohio band has a hearty warmth and an engaging earnestness. Welcome to the dance, boys.

KEITH URBAN/Blue Ain’t Your Color
Writers: Steven Lee Olsen/Hillary Lindsey/Clint Lagerberg; Producers: Dann Huff/Keith Urban; Publishers: Warner-Tamerlane/Songs of the Corn/HillaroddyRathbone/BMG/House of Sea Gayle/Clearbox/Spirit Two, BMI/ASCAP; Capitol Nashville
– I dig the “old school” vibe on this ballad. The first time you hear it, the song sounds like a classic. Urban goes four-for-four from the Ripcord album.

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About the Author

Robert K. Oermann is a longtime contributor to MusicRow. He is a respected music critic, author and historian.

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