Keith Urban has been busy writing songs for his next album and it could turn out to be his most personal project to date. Keith says, “It’s early days, so I don’t know what kind of album I’m gonna make,” but ever since getting the full range and power of his voice back after undergoing vocal cord surgery in November he says, “the ability to not be limited in what I can sing has definitely created a freedom to write about things that I haven’t written about in the past.” More specifically, songs about his time in drug and alcohol rehab back in 2006 and the events that led up to him checking himself in have begun to emerge.
Keith acknowledges, “I know when I got out of treatment there was a lot of people saying, ‘Well you didn’t really address what happened.’ I came out and made Defying Gravity and it had “I Want to Kiss A Girl” and “Sweet Thing” and none of these songs that really addressed what happened in there and what happened before it.” He says the reason his first album after treatment didn’t really address what happened was because, “At the time the truth of it was I’d spent three months in treatment, and the kind of treatment where that stuff was being exorcised daily in tons of written work, tons of counseling, tons of therapeutic type environments. So by the time I got out three months later, I felt incredibly clear of so much of that. And so from an artistic standpoint, all of those things ended up in all of these recovery manuscripts, if you will. They didn’t come into the record. I wasn’t interested in them at that point. I was interested in what pulled me through. And that for me at the time was love.”
The songs that were coming out of Keith at the time were, as he describes them, “buoyant, joyous songs.” But now he says, “For some reason I’ve started writing recently and these things are now starting to now come into the songs. It’s five and a half years later. So for whatever reason they’re just coming through a little bit more now. And I want to explore some of those now. I think it’s been long enough to have a particular perspective on it as well, where again it’s not conscious, the songs are just starting to touch upon some of these things.”
There is no timetable for the release of Keith’s next album but he says he’s been flying writers from Nashville out to L.A., where he’s been staying while working on The Voice in Australia. He explains that it’s easier on the family to take one direct flight from Australia to L.A. and stay there as opposed to flying into L.A. and then getting on another flight to Nashville, so for now the family is spending their time in the U.S. in their L.A. home and Keith is working on his new album out there.