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Golden Road Keith Urban's sophomore issue on Capitol is an early yet devastatingly original piece of work that pointed the way toward the album's Be Here and Love, Pain & the Whole Crazy thing in 2004 and 2006, respectively. Urban is partially responsible for the diverse musical traditions that make their way into the contemporary country music scene of the 21st century. While others like Garth Brooks, Tim McGraw, Travis Tritt and the like modeled a sound that included Southern and '70s rock, Urban brought bluegrass, Top 40 pop stylings, and drum loops into the mix as well and made them all work in his own songs as well as those he covered. Golden Road is the first place listeners really get to hear the monster guitar slash and burn that he is well known for in his live performances. Urban and Dan Huff produced Golden Road. The album contains two Urban originals in the beautiful, lithe ballad "You're Not Alone Tonight," and the shuffling soft rocker "Song for Dad," that showcases the blend of sounds he would later employ as his own trademark mix. The set also contains a pair of excellent cuts by Rodney Crowell, which are particularly suitable, and perhaps were even tailor-made for Urban in "You Won" and "What About Me." The ballad "Raining on Sunday," was a single written by Darrell Brown as was the other single "You'll Think of Me." Tony Martin's "You Look Good in My Shirt," is a delightful stinging rocker, and Monty Powell's "Who Wouldn't Want to Be Me" is another, with Urban playing the strings off his banjo as well as electric guitar. While his later records were bigger hits, this one is consistent enough and full of such charm and personality that it's difficult to believe Urban didn't write everything here. That he owns these songs as if he did makes Golden Road a real lasting early achievement. ~ Thom Jurek, All Music Guide
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