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Love, Pain &  The Whole Crazy Thing
     

Love, Pain & The Whole Crazy Thing

4.7 83
by Keith Urban
 
It's been an eventful couple of years for Keith Urban since the release of his 2004 megahit album Be Here, which vaulted him into the elite of his generation's country superstars. His music -- both his own songs and some well-chosen covers -- has evinced a personal, confessional streak that aligns him more with sensitive Brad Paisley than, say, party boy Kenny

Overview

It's been an eventful couple of years for Keith Urban since the release of his 2004 megahit album Be Here, which vaulted him into the elite of his generation's country superstars. His music -- both his own songs and some well-chosen covers -- has evinced a personal, confessional streak that aligns him more with sensitive Brad Paisley than, say, party boy Kenny Chesney. Thus, a world of revelation can be read into the songs on the tellingly titled Love, Pain & the whole crazy thing. Like most others, his (high-profile) marriage has its attendant tensions, uncertainties, and jubilations, all chronicled herein. Singing urgently on "Used to the Pain," with a fierce, driving rock attack behind him and his own guitar in spitfire mode, Urban articulates the roller-coaster ride of commitment in raw confessions such as "Every step I take / I get a little less afraid / Of giving in to love /…It gets better every day / Once you get used to the pain." On "Won't Let You Down," an intense, jittery shuffle, he's arrived fully invested in his role, promising, "I'll catch you when you fall / 'cause I'm the one who loves you / I'm your best friend now / And I won't let you down…" And for simply luxuriating in his good fortune in love ("true believers always find each other / and here we are…"), he's at his most affecting ballad best on "Got It Right This Time," on which he is backed only by a keyboard and a drum machine, with a demo-like feel that adds to the intimacy. There's much more along these lines, and some pure, unbridled burners as well, adding up to a concept that's both radio-ready and more complex than typical mainstream country fare.

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Thom Jurek
Love, Pain & the Whole Crazy Thing was released on November 7, 2006, just days after Keith Urban voluntarily entered an alcohol treatment center. Having married actress Nicole Kidman just months before, his timing couldn't be better. After all, Urban is trying to get well at the very peak of his life thus far, both personally and professionally, and an album this enjoyable needs a healthy person to support it. Love, Pain & the Whole Crazy Thing is slicker than anything Urban has issued before, but it's also more ambitious, representing a giant leap forward from 2004's Be Here. Urban is a rocking guitarist, a complete wildman on the electric six-string, and he combines his tough, unhinged approach to the instrument with pop melodies and utterly brilliant production elements that layer strings, drum loops, fiddles, banjos, E-Bows, and Hammond B-3s. Add a songwriting style that touches on the classic elements of rock, country, and mainstream pop, and you have something that hasn't been heard in the country genre in such a cohesive way before. That's right -- the album is further proof of Urban's ability to stretch the genre to the breaking point by bringing in more of modern pop's elements, while remaining firmly within Nashville's good graces. Song by song, this albums feels as if there isn't anything he can't do. Sharing production credit with Dan Huff, Urban wrote (or, in some cases, co-wrote) ten of the album's 13 cuts -- there's a hidden track buried in the CD-ROM portion of the disc. The production is thoroughly modern, but also feels like the country equivalent of George Martin. It's positively baroque in places, and there is so much packed in that it almost feels claustrophobic, even though he makes it work beautifully. No record since Neil Diamond's brilliant Beautiful Noise -- produced by the Band's Robbie Robertson -- has sounded so regal and inviting. The album's first single, "Once in a Lifetime," opens the set; it entered the Billboard chart at number 17, the highest debuting single since the chart's inception. But the shock is simply that it's not the best track on the record. Urban has packed this disc with fine writing and excellent, even defining versions of the songs he chose to cover. There are a number of rockers, including "Faster Car," with its smoking, funky bassline, layered power chords, and his "ganjo" that rings above the horn section, and "I Told You So," which uses acoustic guitars, fiddles, and the ganjo to usher in some twisting, minor-key electrics. Both songs are based on tight little hooks, and both build to the breaking point while allowing Urban's voice to soar above the instruments. On the latter tune, Uilleann pipes and bouzouki are layered into the mix in a melody that brings to bear Celtic cowboy lyric frames and tribal rhythms. The whole thing explodes near the end, when Urban cuts loose in a serious, distortion-laden guitar wrangle. "Shine," which begins as a shimmering country-pop tune, is another example, as a string section and his unhinged soloing battle for dominance in the nearly unbearable climax. "I Can't Stop Loving You," written by Billy Nichols, is another climatic tune, but it becomes one of the great modern country love songs with its incessant reaching to its crescendo, which is provided by an army of strings and big power chords. "Used to the Pain," written with Darrell Brown, is a stealthy rocking love song that drips with emotion. The down-home anthem "Raise the Barn," a duet with Ronnie Dunn, was written in reaction to the destruction done by Hurricane Katrina. Urban can also write a shuffling country-rocker with the best of them. Urban didn't pen "God Made Woman," but his version makes the track his own. Beginning with a choir (somewhat smaller and yet reminiscent of the Rolling Stones on "You Can't Always Get What You Want"), the cut quickly becomes a loud and proud country-rock anthem that celebrates -- not objectifies -- women. "Tu Compañía" is a way funky country two-step love song driven by the ganjo. Yeah. Funky. The album's final cut, "Got It Right This Time," sounds like a homemade demo by the rest of the album's standards, with Urban handling drum machine and keyboard chores while singing. That said, it's far from substandard and certainly belongs here, as it showcases Urban's voice in all its unadorned grandeur and reveals the influence of soul music on his singing. Those who wish to decry Urban as some kind of slick, formulaic songwriter and flavor of the country music moment are missing the point. The man writes honest, beautifully crafted songs that are adult enough to ponder, tough enough to rock, and tender enough to pull -- not tug -- on the heartstrings. As previously stated, there's no better time to get well than when you're at the top of your game. While Urban's previous records have all had their moments -- and Be Here was his true arrival -- Love, Pain & the Whole Crazy Thing is his mature pop masterpiece. For all its wonder and expertise, it feels like it's just a taste of what he'll be offering in the future.
Billboard - Ken Tucker
Urban sells every song with passion. It's fitting that he closes this varied set with "Got It Right This Time." Indeed.

Product Details

Release Date:
11/07/2006
Label:
Liberty
UPC:
0094637708705
catalogNumber:
77087
Rank:
9726

Tracks

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Keith Urban   Primary Artist,Acoustic Guitar,Banjo,Bouzouki,Mandolin,Percussion,Piano,Bass Guitar,Electric Guitar,Keyboards,Vocals,Background Vocals,Slide Guitar,E-bow,Soloist
Eric Darken   Percussion
David Angell   Violin
Larry Corbett   Cello
David Davidson   Violin
Mark Douthit   Tenor Saxophone
Dan Dugmore   Steel Guitar
Ronnie Dunn   Vocals
Connie Ellisor   Violin
Carl Gorodetzky   Violin
Barry Green   Trombone
Mike Haynes   Trumpet
Dann Huff   Acoustic Guitar,Percussion,Guitar (12 String Electric)
Rami Jaffee   Keyboards,Hammond Organ
Anthony LaMarchina   Cello
Chris McHugh   Drums
Doug Moffet   Baritone Saxophone
Nashville String Machine   Choir Conductor
Pamela Sixfin   Violin
Jimmie Lee Sloas   Bass,Bass Guitar
Alan Umstead   Violin
Catherine Umstead   Violin
Gary VanOsdale   Viola
Mary Kathryn Van Osdale   Violin
Kris Wilkinson   Viola
Joy Worland   French Horn
Jonathan Yudkin   Fiddle
Eric Rigler   uillean pipes,tin whistle
Russell Terrell   Background Vocals
Tim Lauer   Synthesizer,Accordion,Harmonium,Pump Organ
Monisa Angell   Viola
Karen Winkelmann   Violin
Jerry Flowers   Background Vocals
Cate Myer   Violin
David R. Stone   Upright Bass
Tom Bukovac   Guitar,Electric Guitar
Carole Rabinowitz-Neuen   Cello
Beth Beeson   French Horn
Choristers of Reigate Saint Mary   Soprano (Vocal)
Jenny O'Grady   Choir Conductor

Technical Credits

Darrell Brown   Composer
David Campbell   Choir Arrangement,String Conductor
Terry Christian   Engineer
Steve Churchyard   Engineer
Betsy Cook   Art Direction
Mark Hagen   Engineer,overdub engineer
Dann Huff   Producer,Engineer,Audio Production
Richard Marx   Composer
Chris McHugh   Programming
Justin Niebank   Engineer
Billy Nicholls   Composer
Michael Omartian   Horn Arrangements
Monty Powell   Composer
John Shanks   Composer
Gordie Sampson   Composer
Keith Urban   Composer,Producer,drum machine,Audio Production
Dino Hermann   Engineer
Steve McEwan   Composer
Torne White   Art Direction
Deanna Bryant   Composer
Dave Berg   Composer
Matt Lawrence   Engineer
Hillary Lindsey   Composer
Sarah Buxton   Composer
Jeff Kersey   Engineer

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

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Love, Pain & The Whole Crazy Thing 4.7 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 83 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I have this album already downloaded and I have to tell you, this is one of the best albums I have ever owned. Every song speaks straight from the heart, has a story to tell, and transports the listener into the very soul of life! From beginning to end, you will not be able to turn it off. I have mine set on repeat in the car and can't get enough!! Get yours pre-ordered so you don't miss out. Having seen some of these songs performed live at the promotion party in Atlanta really made me realize just how much of Keith is in his new CD!! Way to go, Keith. Can't wait to see the entire album performed this upcoming 2007 CD tour!!
Guest More than 1 year ago
If you want pop/rock music that is generic, radio friendly that says the same thing over and over this is for you. If you want real country music about real life, real people that has variety then this is a wrong choice. It is boring, listen to the songs, same topics over and over. Face it he is not a country artist.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Of course, I have thought that about all of Keith Urban's CDs when I have heard them--that they couldn't get better. Keith Urban's music is what opened my world up to the country music world, and all that it includes. I am thankful for Keith Urban's integrity, humility, and generosity. Keep making the music, and I will definitely keep listening. Again, thanks to Keith for a wonderful CD!!
Guest More than 1 year ago
After I was turned down. I was so sad, I listened to the song "Stupid Boy" and it helped me halfway get over him! I was able to go back to school the next day and HALFWAY get over him. So thanks so much to Keith Urban for really feeling what he sings about!
Guest More than 1 year ago
He just keeps going! If you aren't a fan of Keith's you don't know what you are missing. I have been a fan since the Solo release and after each CD I've wondered how he will top it with the next one. And each time he pulls it off. Not only do I love the new CD, but so do my four little girls. AND my Husband! I cannot wait for the tour to kick off, it will be a fun time, that's for sure! Pick up the CD TODAY!!!
Guest More than 1 year ago
I just heard Keith's album online at his website, and there's not a song on there that is not FANTASTIC! I highly recommend this for EVERYONE.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I wasn't sure Keith could top his last album...but he did it again! It is a great mixture of his down-home style added to his high energy guitar. I especially liked the third song, "I Told You So". I also enjoyed the remake of "I Can't Stop Loving You" (recorded a few years back by Phil Collins). Although it is a remake, Keith puts his magical touch on this song--I'm sure it will be one of his future singles. This CD will definately keep Keith moving up the super-stardom ladder! I am looking forward to his 2007 Tour!
Guest More than 1 year ago
This album is fantastic. You will not be disappointed. There's not a bad song on the whole c.d.
Guest More than 1 year ago
What can I say? I love it. Keith has provided fans with a great mix of country and classic rock - a combination that draws legions of fans who want to experience the wonderfully heartfelt vocals and totally rocking guitar solos that he is so well known for. Between his unique country sound and his incredible musical talent, this one's another hit.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This is his BEST work to date in my opinion! If you are a monkey, YOU SHOULD GO GET THE CD!! It's Awesome and heartwarming
Guest More than 1 year ago
I finally got around to getting the CD and have been listening to it all the time. It has some great music.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I have to say that every album Keith has produced is just layered with the most amazing songs. He shows his genius in every piece. Not only is he a fantastic singer and musician. His voice is beautiful. I could listen to him forever.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I had to buy three cd's - home, car and office as Keith's albums never leave my cd player. I love his music - he is a fantastic musician and just keeps getting better. This album moves in new, bigger, bolder directions than Be Here (which I also love) and Golden Road (ditto). I love that it seems his vocals on this record are better than ever before and we have more guitar playing - both acoustic and electric, which are fantastic. Hard to pick favorite songs, but Shine, I Told You So, Stupid Boy, Won't Let You Down, and Used to the Pain are just awesome. If you're not a Keith fan, this album, and attending a KU concert will certainly change that. My advice - get Love, Pain, and the whole crazy thing immediately!!!
Guest More than 1 year ago
LP&TWCT is an amazingly aussome album but then again we expect nothing less from our Aussie wonder. This is truly an album of the heart and it definitely shows the depth of the zone Keith was in and how truly in-tuned he was withhis inner self. Every song is special. The raw emotion gives you goose bumps! The album gives a bit of everything. Every song is single worthy.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I was fortunate enough to hear Keith's new album in it's entirety about a month before it's official release and I have yet to stop listening! I have to say, without a doubt, it's his best album yet. I own every album of Keith's and love each of them but the minute I heard "Love, Pain and the whole crazy thing" I immediately put it above all the others. And for someone who holds "Golden Road" very close to their heart, that's saying something. The songwriting for this album is beautifully heartfelt and the guitar work is nothing short of AMAZING!! The best way to describe it is that it's just pure Keith all the way. People are going to sit around, critics and fans alike, and try to figure out if "Love, Pain & the whole crazy thing" is country, pop or rock, but if you ask me it's a little bit of everything rolled into one. It's just brilliant, from track 1 to 13!!!
Guest More than 1 year ago
Keith has done it again! Another great cd!
Guest More than 1 year ago
Keith has outdone himself on this one. What versatility!! He's not stuck in one genre. Keith's being in love has brought us the best CD yet!!
Guest More than 1 year ago
Wow, well Mr. Urban has made me proud yet again. I have listened to this album all day (thanks to being a member of monkeyville I was able to access it on his website before it released in stores). Its very hard to pick just ONE for my fav but if I had to choose I would have to pick "Shine". Keith showcases his beautiful voice and amazing guitar skills as always. This man plays a mean guitar. The Duet with Ronnie Dunn was a pleasant surprise and a real gem.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Keith's newest release Love, Pain, & the Whole Crazy Thing is better than you could expect. He has surpassed all expectations with this one!
Guest More than 1 year ago
This is another awesome CD by an incredibly talented musician! A must-have for any Keith fan!
newthinker More than 1 year ago
I got to meet Keith in NYC. He is as lovely and thoughtful as his music. The songs he played everyone sang alone to- great music. When his amp glitched, he unplugged and it sounded exactly like the album just unplugged. What a treat! I have not found a song of his that I skip over.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Love, Pain & The Whole Crazy Thing is an outstanding CD. I can honestly say this is the only artist that puts out CD's and I listen to every song on it. Never skip a song. The guitar playing on this CD is fantastic. Highly recommend it to everyone. Guaranteed you will love it.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I love Keith Urban's CDs, especially Golden Road and Be Here. I wondered how he could top these two amazing CD's. But Keith and his band has done it again! This album will be a 4x platinum.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This is a must have album for any fan. Country, Rock, Adult Contemporary. Keith is a well rounded artist. His love of music, his family and is fans is the best, bar none. It "Shines" through his music. I Love all of Keith's music, but my favorite ones on this album are "Everyone, Shine, Stupid Boy, I told you so". When he writes/sings/plays his music he sure knows how to capture the emotion. Keith, YOU ROCK! This is a MUST HAVE album.
Guest More than 1 year ago
God Made Woman is an exicilate song. I love how it goes from the choir singing the song to Keith doing a guitar solo. It has a rocky edge to it. I wouldn't even of though of him doing this...its AWASOME!