Be Here

Keith Urban

Be Here

Living — and loving — in the moment is a reoccurring theme on Keith Urban’s Be Here. For all the happy moments celebrated on this album, there’s also an acknowledgement of dark shadows lurking around the bend. As on previous albums, he effortlessly sails through upbeat tracks like “God’s Been Good to Me,” “Better Life,” and “I Could Fly” with lighthearted grace. But even the sunniest tunes carry a certain pang — the opening number “Days Go By” and the closer “These Are the Days” reveal a certain wistfulness beneath their positive sentiments. “Tonight I Wanna Cry” and especially “Nobody Drinks Alone” confront despair with understated drama and a measure of honesty. Inspired cover choices — including Rodney Crowell’s “Making Memories of Us” and Elton John’s “Country Comfort — add to the impact. Keith’s sparkling guitar, banjo, and mandolin work ripples through these tracks, lending many of them a distinct bluegrass tinge. While the good things in life may be fleeting, Urban makes Be Here into a work of solid achievement and enduring appeal.

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