Tuesday, November 22nd, 2016

Keith Urban – Blue Ain’t Your Color

Come, ladies, for dating advice and metaphors.


Jonathan Bradley: Keith Urban came to Nashville as an outsider and a foreigner, and his success derives from his studied ability to replicate country music’s gestures and details with an actor’s precision rather than a native’s instinct. This deliberation sometimes renders his work bland as well as formalist, but in negotiating a rather smarmy composition like “Blue Ain’t Your Color,” his commitment to realizing the underlying emotion goes a long way. The chilled 6/8 rhythm helps too, as does the brief guitar solo, even if its textures proceed a bit too obviously from the tune’s title.

Anthony Easton: Do I need to know about guitar work to understand this? There are maybe ten or eleven singers that I would like to hear sing this more, and the guitar seems interesting, but in ways that I would have to subscribe to Guitar Weekly to understand. 

Alfred Soto: Imagine Garth Brooks singing a “Girl Crush” arrangement, sung with almost as much conviction. He’s lying though: of course this is a pickup song. He admits he had too much to drink, for fuck’s sake.

Thomas Inskeep: Closer to Chris Isaak than radio country, this is a sly, sexy move from Urban, no stranger to sly and sexy himself. A little bit ’60s soul in the music, and a lot of soul in Urban’s voice, this sticks out like a sore thumb on country radio right now, and that’s awesome. 

Will Adams: In which Keith Urban, fresh after hearing “Closer” for the first time and reading up on color theory, decides he knows best for this woman at the bar. If only he knew as much about the dangers of cheap drum machines.

Edward Okulicz: I stare in wonderment at Keith Urban’s career — the more he tries to emote, which he does on the wavy lilt of the chorus’s melody, and the more he tries to sound like he’s spontaneous and alive and having real feelings, the stiffer and less convincing he sounds. It’s much the same reaction I have to his wife’s acting, actually, that if it stumbles into effectiveness it’s by mistake. If I were a woman receiving this conversation-croon I’d knee him in the balls, frankly.

Katie Gill: Another “your man is treating you bad and I know it despite the fact that I don’t even KNOW your personal opinion about your man so date me please” type of song where we don’t even get an INKLING of the girl’s perspective, you’re better than this, Keith Urban. I mean, Zayn and Shawn Mendes aren’t better than this. But you’re definitely better than this. Put this overplayed message over something that’s supposed to sound slow-dance but ended up sounding like a version of “Earned It” that you’d play if you didn’t want to pay royalties for the song, and I’m just rolling my eyes so much they’re practically falling out of my head.

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