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Snap judgment: Keith Urban's 'Sweet Thing'

November 4, 2008 |  5:09 pm

It's not a huge stretch to connect some of the energy and sense of discovery in Keith Urban's new single, a familiar first-date scenario, to his new role as a first-time dad.

It’s already the second country single of the season, on the heels of Taylor Swift’s “Love Story,” that draws its romantic inspiration from “Romeo and Juliet.” Well, they did call Hank Williams the Hillbilly Shakespeare, right?

Like Swift’s equally upbeat tune, Urban doesn’t venture anywhere near tragedy in this bubbly tale of love in the embryonic stage. He paints the scene of that adrenaline-laced first date, where expectation and excitement rein:

I held open the car door for you
Then you climbed inside and slid on over
To the other side
I thought “My, oh, my”

It’s quintessential Keith Urban -- a funky country-rock beat under electric guitar strings, ticking like a clock on the guy in the song who’s under the gun to return his buddy's borrowed Mustang. But not before he spends a little smooch time on the front porch swing with his girl.

“I’m standing here like a love-struck Romeo,” he confesses.

It's nothing we didn't already know, but it’s a pose that Urban strikes exceptionally well.

It’s the first taste of a new album due early next year. The album, officially, is untitled; it remains to be seen whether the working title “Born to Love” will stick. But it’s another hint that Urban’s art may yet imitate his life.

Fans remember all too well that his 2006 album, “Love, Pain & the Whole Crazy Thing,” came out right as he went into rehab after falling off the wagon shortly after his marriage to Nicole Kidman. It appears the couple is on firmer ground now, with 3-month-old daughter Sunday Rose making three.

If only we could fast forward about 15 years and see whether, as the dad of a teenage girl, he gets inspired to freshen up that old 2006 Rodney Atkins classic “Cleaning This Gun.”

--Randy Lewis

Photo: Associated Press