Review: Keith Urban, “Sweet Thing”

Keith Urban and Monty Powell have always known their way around a shimmering pop hook, so it’s no surprise to hear their latest offering burst into a big, sunny, singalong chorus.

What is surprising is how insubstantial it all feels this time. For all their radio friendliness, Urban and his co-writers have always demonstrated an ability to make even the simplest theme – be it open-road exhilaration in “Who Wouldn’t Wanna Be Me” or carpe diem revivalism in “Days Go By” – sound grounded in honest, specific human experience. “Sweet Thing” walks the walk, with loads of juicy little details peppering the record’s brisk build, but comes across unusually contrived.

The issue boils down to sheer predictability. Aside from sounding like a mash-up of Urban’s signature “Somebody Like You” and Chuck Wicks’ recent “All I Ever Wanted” (another Powell co-write), “Sweet Thing” feels like it was deliberately crafted to model everything country radio currently craves: tempo, verses that speed along into catchy choruses, and nondescript adolescent romance. Urban delivers a remarkably charming performance despite these narrow confines, proving again why he is one of the genre’s most distinct and technically skilled vocalists, but this one never amounts to more than hormonally-charged ear candy.

Written by Keith Urban & Monty Powell

Grade: B

Listen: Sweet Thing


  1. I actually like this song very much. I don’t hear Somebody Like You at all in this. Most of what is on Country radio is ear candy. I felt his work on Love/Pain was brilliant, but where did that get him? I’m looking forward to his new CD. It’s been 2 years since we’ve gotten anything new.

  2. I love the song! The song is very entertaining and better than the majority of the songs on radio now. I agree with Emily! LPATWCT was a fantastic album and totally overlooked by radio. Just like they did when he released The Ranch album which was another fantastic work of art! Keith is too good for country music. Especially when they worship someone that doesn’t have half the talent as Keith Urban. Two of them being Kenny Chesney and Taylor Swift. I have no faith in Country Music anymore.

  3. More Pop Country drivel. Urban fits right in to this genre, along side Chesney and Swift. Thank goodness, musically this is the most limited genre of todays music scene. Could you imagine if this was all there was?

  4. How in the world was Love, Pain, and the whole crazy thing overlooked? It had four top-six singles in the span of a year and a half (being overlooked would have put the peaks lower, or had the timeframe greatly expanded). He may be many things, but overlooked is not one of them.

  5. Stephen, I’m comparing it to some of the other music that shot to the top of the charts that I felt were no more deserving than Keith’s. But that is happening so much more now than it ever has with more talented artist being overlooked to play up the flavor of the month. Aw heck, I’m wasting my breath on this thread anyway. Nothing is going to change. Kenny Chesney will always be EOTY(YUK)until Taylor Swift dethrones him!(Another YUK) Even though she never sings in pitch, but that doesn’t matter anymore because Kenny doesn’t all the time either! But I will always feel Keith Urban does not get the total recognition he deserves, but that’s just my opinion!

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