Wednesday, March 19th, 2014

Keith Urban – Cop Car

Just wait until you hear why he failed his road test.


[Video][Website]
[5.20]

Alfred Soto: Now here’s a circumstance I haven’t heard in song before, and apparently it’s no metaphor. But Urban can’t resist unctuousness or the phony uplift of a boring guitar. 
[4]

Anthony Easton: At least someone is talking about the problems of all this unfettered bro-country, though those problems may feature arrest. Apparently they also feature terrible puns. Urban rests this on a nostalgic base, which considering his age and station makes more sense than first-person-present. It’s shiny, well-produced, professional and heavily marketable, but fails at bring any real emotion to the table. 
[4]

David Sheffieck: The low-key nature of the first verse and chorus is actually pretty great, hushed and evocative. And while the drums that kick in after the hook point directly to the eventual obligatory “whoa oh” backing vocals, there’s more than enough of interest contained in that beginning section and the bridge (which teases a truly awesome guitar solo) to justify Urban’s dips into predictability.
[7]

Edward Okulicz: The sound here is so spot-on that any objections to its corny ridiculousness vanish. This is no mere sepia-tinted photograph; I’m sure if I close my eyes I can see the camera view blurring and distorting into a Magical Spooky Sitcom Flashback. And Urban’s voice is just right for it, like a tour guide for a series of obvious and predictable moments. Right on cue, the drums come in for the second verse. You know that the second chorus is going to get bigger and break out into “oh-whoa” hell. You know that a guitar solo is coming, even if on the first listen you’re not exactly sure when. You sing along despite yourself, swallowing embarrassment when it gets to the line about “freedom in your eyes.”
[6]

Katherine St Asaph: This has a distinct “Lonely Island parodies country balladry” sense, and not just because it’s silly. It’s constructed like comedy: jokes with punchlines, concepts in rear-end collisions. (“Making out with a girl and getting busted by the cops and falling in love” ballad? Workable, maybe…. Making out with a Manic Pixie Country Girl and getting busted by the cops and falling in love to the sound of sirens and sight of “freedom in her eyes”? Gold!) What it needs is a better hook, an “I’M ON A BOAT COP CAR” that deserves the caps or the plosives.
[5]

Patrick St. Michel: The misdemeanor imagery and entire theme of this song could probably work as a more uptempo, fun construction, something that helps deflect from the general cheesiness of the whole thing (“you were so innocent/but you were stealing my heart” c’mon). Nope, Keith Urban plays this with wide-eyed wonder, complete with soaring-and-obnoxious guitar solo and over-the-top background shouting.
[4]

Mallory O’Donnell: The scenery is inherently so confining that Keith is reduced to over-literal stage direction (“you were on the left, I was on the right”), but the gentle hues of the backing track and its inevitable choral explosion are near-classic.
[6]

Brad Shoup: Ironically, he’s sounding a little Churchy. Instead of relying on a generation of dirtbags-in-training to supply their own details, Urban’s team goes above and beyond. The way he spaces “running/for it” is a tiny nugget of R&B, but otherwise he’s paddling in milk. Grit isn’t required — this isn’t the rise of an outlaw legend — but we’re hit over the head with meet-cute even before the choir bros queue up.
[5]

Megan Harrington: The conceit of this song is pretty silly, but Urban does not release singles unless they have a chorus that’s like punching your fist in the air and having it explode into a shooting star. I don’t know who’s going to shout “I fell in love in the back of a cop car!” and then smile at themselves and think “Wow, Keith Urban just gets me,” but the singing along is compulsory. 
[5]

Will Adams: The chorus accelerates and decelerates at all the right moments, the music pushes the atmospherics and anthemic touches when needed, and Urban crescendos like a pro. The lyrics are nonsense, but it’s all pretty.
[6]

Reader average: [7.83] (6 votes)

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