Albums: September 13, 2013 |


Albums: September 13, 2013

Reviews of new records from Kieth Urban and Sheryl Crow

Keith Urban, Fuse
Country stars sure seem bored by country music lately. On his seventh LP, Urban can’t help but walk down the pop path that Taylor Swift, Luke Bryan, and Florida Georgia Line have helped pave in the past year. Right now, the Aussie — who will return to the American Idol judges’ panel — wants a ”Little Bit of Everything,” which means drum machines, electric guitars, and two of Rihanna’s favorite producers. The result is sonically exploratory (if overproduced), but Urban’s breezy, flirty lyrics are so dreadfully derivative that they undo his attempt at diversity. B-Grady Smith

Sheryl Crow, Feels Like Home
Crow’s country move isn’t exactly a leap into the unknown — she’s always hitched slick to homespun. But her eighth album, recorded in Nashville with a hand from Brad Paisley, inlays modern Music City twang like turquoise in a belt buckle, while the lyrics funnel her cheery realism into finer-cut tales of staycations, sexually charged car talk, and how ”Waterproof Mascara” won’t ”run like his daddy did.” And yes, she’s got a terrific song called ”Drinking.” A-Nick Catucci