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Album Review

Keith Urban, 'Get Closer'

November 15, 2010

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Country star Keith Urban’s sixth release gives lie to the idea that angst is the best fuel for songwriting. On this lean but enjoyable eight-song set, Urban and his fellow songwriters are mostly in high spirits. They locate the fizz in the giddy first blush of a crush (“Put You in a Song’’) to the shock and joy of finding a soul mate and building a family (“Without You’’). That cheerfulness is infectious when wedded to the bouncy blend of pop-country and roots rock that has made the Aussie-raised artist a hot commodity in Nashville. The ladies of Little Big Town liven up the destined-for-arenas jaunt “You Gonna Fly,’’ and unsung hero Russell Terrell improves every song on which he provides rich harmony vocals. Even when the horizon clouds up, as it does on the churning, sonically dense “Georgia Woods’’ and the couples-in-crisis closer “Shut Out the Lights,’’ Urban never lets the darkness fall fully. A “deluxe’’ version of “Get Closer,’’ available only at Target, was unavailable for review at press time, but nearly doubles the album’s content with seven more tracks. Four live songs come from Urban’s “Love, Pain & the Whole Crazy World’’ tour and three new originals from the “Get Closer’’ sessions including a ballad penned by Stoughton singer-songwriter Lori McKenna. (Out tomorrow) SARAH RODMAN

ESSENTIAL “Georgia Woods’’