Keith Urban – “The Speed of Now Part 1” Review

Story posted September 22, 2020 in Arts & Entertainment by Cade Miller.

After being left in the dark for nearly two years, fans of the Grand Ole Opry member, 12-time CMA winner and country star Keith Urban have finally been gifted with a new release, “The Speed of Now Part 1.”

Many of Urban’s past albums have been a collection of very different music styles. Some songs are acoustic, and others are very upbeat and loud. No matter what the content is, Urban has seen many different types of radio stations play his songs, which is not something every country artist can say.

Another item that makes Urban stand out is that he features a variety of musicians in his work. In his last three albums, Urban had a total of 10 different artists perform with him. This is something that continues on “The Speed of Now Part 1.”

Starting with the album cover itself, it seems as if “The Speed of Now Part 1” were made to stand out. Earlier album covers consist of dark and neutral colors. Seeing the new cover full of bright lights and colors, listeners can expect something different from Urban.

Right off the bat, “Open the Cage,” featuring Nile Rodgers and Breland, begins the album as a pop song featuring a touch of banjo. With an abundance of beat mixing present, it should be clear to listeners that “The Speed of Now Part 1” will be more pop than country. There is no “back to the barnyard” feel to this.

It’s hard to think that a country singer and a rapper would sound good together, but it happens on “Open the Cage.” Breland’s and Urban’s voices complement each other, making them a great duo for the song. Add in those strums by Nile Rodgers, and the song may go to No. 1.

Other songs like “One Too Many” with P!nk and “With You” all have that same pop genre taste: upbeat, lots of drum and mixing, and a few touches of autotune.

And yet, the majority of the songs in this album still reach enough country to feel distinctly Keith Urban. “Forever,” “Tumbleweed,” “When God Whispered Your Name” and “We Were,” featuring Eric Church, all give off Urban’s well-known country sound and rhythm.

The guitar and twang are hard to miss in these songs. Urban fans will be glad to know that, even though he’s trying new styles, he isn’t straying too far from his roots.

With 16 songs in this album, pop and country aren’t the only vibes listeners can pick up on. Songs like “Superman,” “Soul Food” and “Polaroid” all sound very “beachy.” These are definitely songs that listeners could turn on when driving down the curvy roads in a convertible on the coast of California. One can almost feel the wind in their hair with the volume turned up on full blast.

With this new bright, bubbly feel, Urban listeners will either be left yearning for more, or absolutely hate his new direction. Whatever the opinion may be, the new sound definitely works, and Urban deserves credit for pulling it off.

Considering how many of the album’s songs are already among Urban’s most played on Spotify, this new direction could soon catch on. It’s still too early to call, but signs are pointing in a positive direction.

Ultimately, any direction that Keith Urban decides to go in will be successful. He will gain followers wherever he ends up taking his music. Nevertheless, Urban will always have his guitar strapped around him with the country genre well in hand.

Rating: 7/10

Reviewer’s Favorite Songs: “One Too Many,” “Soul Food,” “Tumbleweed” and “Polaroid”

Reviewer’s Least Favorite Song: “Forever”


Cade Miller is a freshman majoring in broadcast journalism. To contact him, email