Release Date: Sept. 10
Label: Capitol Nashville
Keith Urban typically folds in eclectic influences in his version of country, but he deliberately pushed the envelope even further with "Fuse," which pulls together 16 tracks with eight different co-producers. It marks his first collaborations with Stargate and Benny Blanco (Beyoncé, Katy Perry), Jay Joyce (Eric Church, Little Big Town) and Butch Walker (Train, P!nk), each of whom caught Urban at a time when he was up for experimentation. Urban has often created his songs with vocal, banjo and drum machine, and he used that unusual blend to set the course for "Fuse."
"I've always had a deep, deep fascination with the fusion of robotocism and human elements," he says. "That's always been in my songwriting. It's just never been that present in my records, and it was something I wanted to explore more." Urban's goal was to heighten the realness in his performances, spurred in part by an interview he'd read with U2 guitarist the Edge. "He said that machinery, when you blend it with the human element, makes the human element that much more human," Urban recalls. "I thought, ‘That's a really insightful way to look at it.' There's something very appealing to me about total machinery—whether it's drum machines or sequenced keyboard parts—that's completely robotic. And then there's a human voice on top. And then add in my human instruments like a mandolin, or a six-string banjo or acoustic guitar. Those things fused together are very appealing to me."