You’re giving me an achingly sincere vocal performance. You’re giving me a stripped down production that’s genuinely country, fiddle and all. You’re giving me your life story, from the music to the marriage to the birth of your daughter.
It all adds up to so much goodness that you almost distracted me from the clunky and self-indulgent songwriting. I can’t even give you a pass on that, because you didn’t write it.
You might have pulled it off if you’d held off on using the line, “Up until you came along, no one ever heard my song, now it’s climbing like a bullet,” until later on, maybe in one of those random breakdowns you like to do at the end to extend album versions from four minutes to twenty.
But “Without You” just feels too much like “Keith Urban sings about what it’s like to be in love with Nicole Kidman” to be interesting to me. It might be an unfair criticism, given that’s what your life is all about these days and it’s made you blissfully happy, but it’s a boring song.
Written by Dave Pahanish and Joe West
Listen: Without You