Graffiti U

Graffiti U

by Keith Urban

CD

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Overview

Keith Urban never claimed to be a country traditionalist, so when he decided to gild his country-pop in electronics and lite R&B rhythms on 2016's Ripcord, it didn't feel unnatural: it was an extension of his expansive worldview. Ripcord quietly outsold its predecessor, the assured 2013 set Fuse, so it's no surprise that Urban doubles down on modernity on 2018's Graffiti U. Gleaming bright and rolling easy, Graffiti U deliberately engages with the world as it exists in 2018, grounded in elastic EDM-inflected grooves, openhearted and socially aware, cognizant of tradition but focused on the future. Urban might salute the late, great Merle Haggard by sampling the riff to "Mama Tried" on "Coming Home," but it's cut and twisted so only Hag fans could recognize its tell-tale twang. Similarly, "Texas Time" tips its hat to the late, great Don Williams' signature "Tulsa Time," but its laid-back shuffle is buffed and shined with electronics, so the nod can only be spotted by those who are steeped in country's history. Urban knows his roots but realizes he's not living in the past, which is what gives Graffiti U its slick kick -- particularly on the record's preponderance of sunny, shiny midtempo radio numbers -- but he can sometimes be undone by his instincts to be a modern man, especially whenever he's trying to address complicated sexual politics. "Female," the album's first single, is an attempt to pledge solidarity with the #MeToo movement, yet it stumbles upon its earnestness. "Gemini" is intended as praise to a complex woman but the misbegotten refrain "She's a maniac in the bed/But a brainiac in her head" derails its disco, since it suggests the narrator isn't as enlightened as he believes. Embarrassing as that may be, it's a mere misstep on an album that's ambitious and largely accomplished, existing right on the edge of adult pop and country in 2018.

Product Details

Release Date: 04/27/2018
Label: Capitol Nashville
UPC: 0602567413578
catalogNumber: 002828502
Rank: 5161

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Keith Urban   Primary Artist,Acoustic Guitar,Banjo,Bass,Percussion,Piano,Electric Guitar,Vocals,Background Vocals,E-bow,Lead
Dann Huff   Drums
Pino Palladino   Bass
Eric Valentine   Drums
Greg Wells   Acoustic Guitar,Bass,Drums
Mike Elizondo   Bass,Keyboards
Benny Blanco   Keyboards
Nicole Kidman   Background Vocals
Mattias Johansson   Violin
Johan Carlsson   Keyboards
J.R. Rotem   Synthesizer,Bass,Percussion,Piano
Jamie Scott   Background Vocals
Aaron Sterling   Percussion,Drums
Ryan Rabin   Keyboards,Background Vocals
Jesse Shatkin   Synthesizer,Percussion,Drums
Mattias Bylund   Strings
Shy Carter   Vocals,Background Vocals,Mouth Percussion
Ryan McMahon   Guitar,Background Vocals
Ian Kirkpatrick   Keyboards
Jimmy Robbins   Keyboards
Johnny McDaid   Keyboards
Jason Evigan   Electric Guitar,Keyboards
Lindsay Ell   Background Vocals
Seth Rausch   Drums
Michael Engstrom   Bass
Charlie Judge   Synthesizer,Strings,Keyboards
Max Townsley   Acoustic Guitar,Dobro,Background Vocals
Matt Musty   Drums
Oscar Holter   Percussion,Keyboards
Ed Sheeran   Acoustic Guitar
Josh Kerr   Background Vocals
David Bukovinszky   Cello
James Abrahart   Background Vocals
Matt Rad   Guitar,Percussion,Piano,Drums,Keyboards,Background Vocals
Ben Berger   Keyboards,Background Vocals
Nicolle Galyon   Background Vocals
Drew Erickson   Keyboards,Clavinet
Emily Weisband   Background Vocals
Kassi Ashton   Vocals,Background Vocals
Kurt Thum   Keyboards

Technical Credits

Merle Haggard   Composer
Joe Baldridge   Engineer
Dann Huff   Producer
Steve Lindsey   Composer
Dan McCarroll   Executive Producer
Eric Valentine   Engineer,Additional Production
Greg Wells   Composer,Programming,Producer
Dillon O'Brian   Composer
Mark Dobson   Engineer
Mike Elizondo   Producer
Keith Urban   Composer,Programming,Producer,Executive Producer
Benny Blanco   Composer,Programming,Producer,Instrumentation
Shane McAnally   Composer
James Scott   Engineer
Adam Hawkins   Engineer
Chris Martin   Composer
Will Champion   Composer
Guy Berryman   Composer
Jonny Buckland   Composer
Amy Wadge   Composer
Nate Ruess   Composer
Justin Tranter   Composer
Ian MacGregor   Engineer
Ross Copperman   Composer,Producer,Engineer
J.R. Rotem   Composer,Producer,drum programming
Jamie Scott   Composer
MoZella   Composer
Aaron Sterling   Engineer
Ryan Rabin   Composer,Programming,Engineer
Jesse Shatkin   Programming,Producer
Mikkel Storleer Eriksen   Composer
Mattias Bylund   Arranger
David Kalmusky   Engineer
Shy Carter   Composer,Vocal Break
Ryan McMahon   Composer,Programming,Engineer
Ian Kirkpatrick   Composer,Programming,Producer,Engineer
Tor Erik Hermansen   Composer
Jimmy Robbins   Composer,Programming,Producer
Jonathan Sterling   Engineer
Peter Karlsson   Vocal Producer
Johnny McDaid   Composer,Programming,Producer,Instrumentation
Jason Evigan   Composer,Programming,Producer
Samuel Kalandjian   Engineer
Josh Osborne   Composer
Julia Michaels   Composer
Max Townsley   Composer
David Schwerkolt   Engineer
Oscar Holter   Composer,Programming,Producer,Engineer
Ed Sheeran   Composer,Programming,Producer,Instrumentation
Josh Kerr   Composer,Programming,Producer
Chris Sclafani   Engineer
Captain Cuts   Producer
James Abrahart   Composer
Matt Rad   Composer,Producer,Engineer
Ben Berger   Composer,Programming,Engineer
Nicolle Galyon   Composer
Drew Erickson   Composer
Emily Weisband   Composer
Francesco Grieco   Engineer
Luke Martin   Engineer
Gian Stone   Engineer,Vocal Producer
Samuel Dent   Engineer
Jordan Minton   Composer

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