Everything We Know About Keith Urban’s New Album, ‘RipCORD’
Keith Urban has revealed some of the details for a new studio album, RipCORD, which is expected early in 2016. The record, the follow-up proect to 2013's Fuse, will intentionally be different than any of Urban's previous albums.
“I just think of it in terms of authenticity, just capturing where I’m at,” Urban says. “That’s all my records have ever been about, just capturing where I am.”
The Boot has rounded up all of the information known so far about RipCORD.
The title of Urban's new album is RipCORD. The singer-songwriter announced the title by simply tweeting the word "Ripcord" to his almost 2.4 million Twitter followers in late October.
On a mid-January conference call with fans, Urban explained that the album's title came about after his wife, Nicole Kidman, mentioned that a play by the same name would be opening in New York City.
"It's just kind of a cool word name -- just, it has a lot of energy about it that I really like ... I just like the sound of it ...," Urban says, "and I thought [a ripcord on a parachute] is quite metaphoric for what music is for me and what music is for a lot of people: It can very well be the thing that saves their life."
The Release Date
On March 17, Urban revealed that RipCORD is set for release on May 6.
The Record Label
Once again, Urban is releasing his music on Capitol Records. RipCORD will be Urban's ninth studio record released on the label.
The Album Cover
The record’s cover features a black-and-white headshot of Urban — but his eyes remain a vibrant blue. The disc’s title appears in the lower righthand corner, in an orange text that looks a bit like graffiti.
Urban has released three songs from RipCORD so far. The debut single, "John Cougar, John Deere, John 3:16" became his 19th No. 1 song in early October. Written by Shane McAnally, Ross Copperman and Josh Osborne, the tune is a throwback to a previous generation.
“John Cougar references all the sort of sexual tension of teenage angst all of us were growing up in,” McAnally explains. “John Deere represents the way that our parents worked and what we saw living in the country, and of course [there’s] the element of religion. And [there’s] irony in John Cougar starting the line and John 3:16 ending the line because that was the push and pull of that teenage thing.”
The second single, "Break on Me," was revealed in mid-October and is already in the Top 25. Written by Ross Copperman and Jon Nite, Urban announced the ballad via a video message to his fans on YouTube.
With lines like, “Break on me / Shatter like glass / Come apart in my hands / Take as long as it takes, girl / Break on me / Put your head on my chest / Let me help you forget / When your heart needs to break, just break on me,” the song is the first ballad that Urban has released as a single since 2014's "Cop Car."
In late March, Urban shared "Wasted Time," an uptempo reflection on carefree younger days that were aimless but certainly not pointless. The song features an electronic beat throughout, along with hints of banjo; it is poppy, but it retains a touch of country. Urban, Greg Wells and J. Hart wrote “Wasted Time,” and Urban and Wells co-produced the track.
According to Rolling Stone, Pitbull contributes a rap verse — the first time that one of Urban’s songs has featured a rap — to “Sun Don’t Let Me Down,” one of RipCORD‘s tunes. The country star says that the rapper “brings a mischievous, sexy swagger to it, in a very different way.”
“Sun Don’t Let Me Down” also features Nile Rogers, who plays guitar on the track, while Urban plays the banjo. They worked together to create something that was a unique product of the two of them.
“Nile does his thing, and I do what I do,” Urban says, “but I don’t want either of those things — I want what we do.”
Fans of Urban’s wife will be happy to know that the song’s lyrics reference her, at the end of the first verse.
“She’s in a movie called To Die For, and in one scene, she’s dancing in front of the headlights,” Urban explains. “So the lyric goes: ‘There in the headlights, dancing like she’s in a movie scene. To die for, and she’s killing me.’”
Other songs on RipCORD include “Blue Ain’t Your Color” and “Boy Gets a Truck;” Rolling Stone describes them as a “a waltz-like ballad” and “a U2-style anthem,” respectively. A song called "The Fighter" features Carrie Underwood.
"I would say it’s a call-and-response song between a guy and a girl," Urban describes, "and Carrie’s on that song with me.”
The Aussie says that he never knows exactly which songs will make it onto an album until he gets in the studio.
“I always think records are like photographs; they’re just a snapshot," he says. "For me anyway, they’ve all been just an accurate snapshot of who I am, where I am in life, what’s going on.
"I’ve always really done it sort of haphazard when I get in the studio. You got a bunch of songs and try this song and try that one," Urban continues. "Sometimes songs just don’t work, and sometimes other things become something in the studio much more than before. They just come to life.”
Keith Urban, RipCORD Track Listing:
1. “Gone Tomorrow (Here Today)” (Written by Jeff Bhasker, Samuel Tyler Johnson and Keith Urban / Co-produced by Jeff Bhasker, Tyler Johnson and Keith Urban)
2. “John Cougar, John Deere, John 3:16” (Written by Shane McAnally, Ross Copperman, Josh Osborne / Co-produced by Dann Huff and Keith Urban)
3. “Wasted Time” (Written by Greg Wells, J. Hart and Keith Urban / Co-produced by Greg Wells and Keith Urban)
4. “Habit of You” (Written by K-Kov and Jackson Morgan / Co-produced by K-Kov and Keith Urban)
5. “Sun Don’t Let Me Down” (Written by Nile Rodgers, busbee, Armando Christian Perez and Keith Urban / Co-produced by Nile Rodgers, busbee and Keith Urban)
6. “Gettin’ in the Way” (Written by Emily Weisband, Jordan Reynolds and David Hodges / Co-produced by Dann Huff and Keith Urban)
7. “Blue Ain’t Your Color” (Written by Steven Lee Olsen, Hillary Lindsey and Clint Lagerberg / Co-produced by Dann Huff and Keith Urban)
8. “The Fighter” (Written by busbee and Keith Urban / Co-produced by busbee and Keith Urban)
9. “Break on Me” (Written by Jon Nite and Ross Copperman / Co-Produced by Nathan Chapman and Keith Urban)
10. “Your Body” (Written by busbee and Keith Urban / Co-produced by busbee and Keith Urban)
11. “That Could Still Be Us” (Written by Jason Duke, Jesse Lee and Jonathan Price / Co-Produced by Jonny Price and Keith Urban)
12. “Worry ‘Bout Nothin’” (Written by Chris Tompkins, Rodney Clawson and Josh Kear / Co-Produced by Dann Huff and Keith Urban)
Urban worked with a bevy of new collaborators and producers, including Jeff Bhasker, busbee, Greg Wells and Nile Rodgers, but he also worked with numerous familiar faces, including Dann Huff and Nathan Chapman.
“Getting to work with people like this was unlike anything I’ve envisioned before,” Urban admits. “It’s the result of writing, reaching, imagining and following the muse every step of the way.”
The singer also notes, “I’m always looking for new people to create with. I did it with Fuse, and I’m doing it also with this record as well.”
Although some fans said that Fuse wasn't as guitar-driven as Urban's previous albums, the artist says that he will focus on the songs more than the instruments for RipCORD.
“I love that people want to hear the guitar, but I just think about the song,” he notes. “It’s like saying I have to put fiddling on it because it’s a country record. It’s whatever the song seems to want.”
Specifically, Urban tells The Boot that he feels the influence of his late father all over RipCORD. The album is Urban's first since his dad's passing in December of 2015.
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