After hosting the ACM Awards this week and releasing a smoldering duet with Pink, Keith Urban drops his new album The Speed of Now Part 1. While Urban’s brand of up-tempo, rock-influenced country music is well-represented over the 16 songs, he’s not afraid to color way outside the genre’s lines — most notably in the record’s lead-off track, “Out the Cage.”
Written by Urban with Sam Sumser, Sean Small, and “My Truck” country rapper Breland, “Out the Cage” is a blast of banjos and programmed beats, with a vocal cameo by Breland and guitar work from disco-funk king Nile Rodgers.
“I think they just lock me up to taunt me/I won’t ever let nobody own me,” sings Breland, who also delivers the chorus payoff line: “That’s what happens when you let a bunch of wild animals out the cage.”
Urban, meanwhile, spits out a rapid-fire string of lyrics in quick succession, emphasizing certain words: “Every time I/Feel like I just can’t take it no more/I get angry/That’s when I start runnin’.”
Urban tells Rolling Stone it was Breland who came up with the idea of the lightning-fast delivery.
“Breland goes, ‘Why don’t we sing something over that lick?’ And I’m like, ‘Oh, it’s pretty quick.’ And he goes, ‘Yeah, but that’s the point of it!'” Urban says. “I live for that fast, syncopated, staccato sort of styling, so we were off and running.”
In addition to Nile Rodgers and Breland, and Pink’s appearance on “One Too Many,” The Speed of Now Part 1 includes Urban’s previously released collaboration with Eric Church, “We Were.”