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Keith Urban: Five Songs I Wish I’d Written

The country star on classic Lucinda Williams, fresh Kurt Vile and more

Keith UrbanKeith Urban

NASHVILLE, TN - JUNE 14: Musician Keith Urban performs onstage during day 4 of the 2015 CMA Festivalon June 14, 2015 in Nashville, Tennessee. (Photo by Richard Gabriel Ford/WireImage)

Richard Gabriel Ford/WireImage/Getty

Details are scarce on Keith Urban‘s upcoming album, Ripcord, but the Aussie country star has revealed one key bit of info: Chic’s Nile Rodgers will be involved in the project. It’s a sign that like so many in the contemporary pop sphere, Urban will be looking beyond his core demographic for this new set.

Fittingly, when we asked him to put together a playlist, Urban —whose single “John Cougar, John Deere, John 3:16” is hitting big —  came up with a handsomely eclectic set of tunes that starts in classic country and ends up in modern pop, making detours into indie rock and vintage glam. Could there be clues to the direction he’s taking on Ripcord hidden within his commentary? Only time will tell.

Waylon Jennings, “Are You Sure Hank Done It This Way”
“Lord, it’s the same old tune, fiddle and guitar/Where do we take it from here?” Those two lines alone hit upon the need to keep country music evolving for me.

Lucinda Williams, “Car Wheels on a Gravel Road”
This one’s timeless. I love Lucinda’s cryptic style of songwriting. It makes it feel so personal.

David Bowie, “Changes”
I’ve been getting back into Bowie recently. The pop architecture in his songwriting here is really exquisite. I still find it mind-blowing.

Kurt Vile, “Pretty Pimpin”
I don’t know how he wrote it, but it sounds like pure stream of consciousness. I’m playing this thing to death right now.

Ed Sheeran, “Photograph”
I fell in love with this song at Wembley, watching everybody in the audience sing along. The songwriting is just spellbinding.

In This Article: Keith Urban


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