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Fuse is the eighth studio album by New Zealand-born Australian country music singer Keith Urban. It was released on 10 September 2013 via Capitol Nashville.[6] The album includes features from Miranda Lambert and Eric Church and has spawned six singles, four of which have topped the newly introduced Billboard Country Airplay chart, making it his first album to produce four chart-topping singles.[7]

Upon release, the album debuted atop both the Billboard 200 and Billboard Top Country Albums charts, making this Urban's fourth (non-consecutive) number one album on the latter. It received generally positive reviews from contemporary music critics, who complimented the more diverse musical styles explored on the songs.

Background

Regarding the sound of the new album, Keith said during an interview with Rolling Stone that "I just wanted to see how far I could go before it's not me." He also said he was inspired by U2's album Achtung Baby, saying "Bono said, [Achtung Baby] had to be the sound of [U2] chopping down The Joshua Tree, which I thought was great. That's where I found myself at. I can keep making the same record, but I don't want to do that."[8] The album cover was revealed on 1 August 2013.[9]

Singles

The album's lead single "Little Bit of Everything", written by Brad and Brett Warren (both of The Warren Brothers) along with Kevin Rudolf, was released on 14 May 2013.[10] This song reached number one on the Country Airplay chart in September 2013, as did "We Were Us", which was released as the album's second international single.[11] in September 2013.[4] "Shame" was released as the second single in Australia and New Zealand only in August 2013.[12] The third international single, "Cop Car" was released in January 2014. The fourth international single, "Somewhere in My Car", was released on 23 June 2014. This single also reached number one on Country Airplay late that year. The fifth international single, "Raise 'Em Up" was released on 26 January 2015. It became the fourth (of the five North American releases) to top the Country Airplay chart in May 2015.[7]

Critical reception

Professional ratings
Aggregate scores
SourceRating
Metacritic74/100[13]
Review scores
SourceRating
Allmusic3.5/5 stars11px11px11px11px[1]
Country WeeklyA[14]
Edmonton Journal4/5 stars11px11px11px11px[15]
HitFixB[16]
The Montreal Gazette1/5 stars11px11px11px11px[17]
NewsdayA-[18]
The Oakland Press2.5/4 stars11px11px11px[19]
Rolling Stone3.5/5 stars11px11px11px11px[20]
Roughstock5/5 stars11px11px11px11px[21]
USA Today3/4 stars11px11px11px[22]

Fuse garnered generally positive reception from music critics to critique the album. At Metacritic, they assign a weighted average score based upon selected mainstream critics reviews and ratings, which based upon four reviews, the album has a Metascore of a 74.[13] At Country Weekly, Bob Paxman said that the release "mesh[es] Keith's usual blend of pop and country with some R&B touches and even some New Age-y sounds." He praised the variety of sounds and thought that the vocals were more prominent than on Urban's previous albums.[14] Will Hermes of Rolling Stone highlighted that "What is surprising, though, is how unforced and fun the record sounds", and this was because "Sometimes, leaving your zone is the best way to find yourself."[20] At Allmusic, Thom Jurek wrote that "For all the piecemeal recording, technological obsession and sheer ambition on the Fuse, Urban manages to fashion it all into a (mostly) working whole and maintain his identity as a contemporary country artist, even as he reaches for the mainstram pop fences."[1]

Jerry Shirver of USA Today suggested that "Deleting generic material would have made the gems pop more, but that's minor since there are plenty of keepers".[22] At The Oakland Press, Gary Graff told that "Fuse does lean a bit heavy on same-sounding arrangements (gentle verses swelling into bombastic choruses) but the songs are consistently strong, and Urban's performances on both guitar and vocals - including duets with Miranda Lambert ('We Were Us') and Eric Church ('Raise 'Em Up') - certainly help the new sonic approaches go down easy."[19] Glenn Gamboa of Newsday found that the album was "filled with plenty of pleasant surprises. The biggest one, though, is how high Urban raised his ambitions and then delivered impressively on them."[18] At Edmonton Journal, Amanda Ash stated that the release was "a thrill that's for sure, although the sentimental ups and downs may be hard on those with pop-sensitive stomachs."[15]

At The New York Times, Jon Caramanica wrote a mixed review, and evoked that "The words are working hard here, and the music is, too, but Mr. Urban is gliding through, barely quaking at all."[23] Melinda Newman at HitFix affirmed that even though Urban "plays beyond country's confines on a few tracks, most tunes hew closely to what the faithful have come to love: mid-tempo tunes anchored by banjo or guitar and Urban’s instantly recognizable vocals."[16] Bobby Peacock of Roughstock praised the variety of production and songwriting, saying of the latter that some of the songs "have different details and/or phrasing than his usual songs."[21] In addition, he wrote that "All of the changes are just right, fitting into his signature sound while offering something new and creative at every turn."[21] At The Montreal Gazette, Bernard Perusse wrote that the album "is mind-numbingly predictable arena pop-rock. Every singsong chorus, every wailing guitar solo and every heartland lyric sounds so written by committee that it’s almost impossible to tell one radio-friendly track from the other."[17]

Commercial performance

In the first week of release, the album sold 98,000 copies in the US, after debuting at number one on the Billboard 200 and the US Top Country Albums chart.[24] As of April 2016, the album has sold 478,000 copies in the US.[25] The album also debuted at number one in Canada and Australia, and in the top 10 in the United Kingdom. It is Urban's second album to chart in his native New Zealand, after 2012's The Story So Far.

Track listing

No.TitleWriter(s)Producer[26]Length
1."Somewhere in My Car"
3:56
2."Even the Stars Fall 4 U"3:59
3."Cop Car"
  • Urban
  • Crowell
4:16
4."Shame"3:03
5."Good Thing"
  • Urban
  • Elizondo
3:52
6."We Were Us" (featuring Miranda Lambert)
3:11
7."Love's Poster Child"
  • Copperman
  • Heather Morgan
3:29
8."She's My 11"
  • Urban
  • Copperman
3:17
9."Come Back to Me"
  • Urban
  • Walker
3:52
10."Red Camaro"
  • Urban
  • Elizondo
3:59
11."Little Bit of Everything"
  • Urban
  • Chapman
3:25
12."Raise 'Em Up" (featuring Eric Church)
  • Urban
  • Chapman
3:04
13."Heart Like Mine"
  • Urban
  • Walker
3:52

Personnel

Musicians
Technical
  • Brent Arrowood – prodution assistant
  • Joe Baldridge – engineer
  • Tim Blacksmith – executive producer
  • Benny Blanco – instrumentation, producer, programming
  • Drew Bollman – production assistant
  • J. Bonilla – programming
  • Delbert Bowers – production assistant
  • Michael Brauer – mixing
  • Jason Campbell – production coordination
  • Nathan Chapman – drum programming, engineer, producer, programming
  • Ross Copperman – engineer, producer, programming
  • Paul "Paco" Cossette – mixing assistant
  • John Silas Cranfield – production assistant
  • Zach Crowell – engineer, producer, programming
  • Danny D. – executive producer
  • Mike Elizondo – producer, programming
  • Mikkel Storleer Eriksen – engineer
  • Chris Galland – production assistant
  • Serban Ghenea – mixing
  • Sara Griffith – production assistant
  • Jason Hall – engineer
  • John Hanes – engineer
  • Adam Hawkins – engineer
  • Dann Huff – producer
  • Ted Jensen – mastering
  • Scott Johnson – production assistant
  • Jay Joyce – programming, producer
  • James Krausse – production assistant
  • Eric Liljestrand – engineer
  • Brett Lind – production assistant
  • Ryan Lipman – assistant engineer
  • Andrew Luftman – production coordination
  • Steve Marcantonio – engineer
  • Manny Marroquin – mixing
  • Tony Maserati – mixing
  • Justin Niebank – engineer, mixing
  • Ernesto Olivera – engineer
  • Rick Purcell – production assistant
  • Cian Riordan – mixing engineer
  • Phil Seaford – assistant engineer
  • Elad Shapiro – production assistant
  • Mike Shipley – mixing
  • F. Reid Shippen – mixing
  • Jake Sinclair – engineer, programming
  • Stargate – instrumentation, producer, programming
  • Chase Tombley – production assistant
  • Keith Urban – producer
  • Eric Valentine – mixing
  • Butch Walker – enginner, producer, programming
  • Matthew Wheeler – production assistant
  • Scott "Yarmov" Yarmovsky – production coordination
  • Joe Zook – mixing

Charts and certifications

Album

Chart (2013–14) Peak
position
Australian Albums (ARIA)[27] 1
Australian Country Albums (ARIA)[28] 1
Canadian Albums (Billboard)[29] 1
New Zealand Albums (RMNZ)[30] 28
UK Country Albums (OCC)[31] 5
US Billboard 200[32] 1
US Top Country Albums (Billboard)[33] 1

Year-end charts

Chart (2013) Position
Australian Albums (ARIA)[34] 43
US Billboard 200[35] 126
US Top Country Albums (Billboard)[36] 32
Chart (2014) Position
Australian Albums (ARIA)[37] 69
US Billboard 200[38] 108
US Top Country Albums (Billboard)[39] 16

Certifications

Region Certification Certified units/Sales
Australia (ARIA)[40] Platinum 70,000^
Canada (Music Canada)[41] Gold 40,000^
United States (RIAA)[42] Gold 478,000[25]

^shipments figures based on certification alone

Singles

Year Single Peak chart positions
AUS
[43]
CAN
[44]
CAN Country
[45]
US
[46]
US Hot Country
[47]
US Country Airplay
[48]
2013 "Little Bit of Everything" 40 35 1 33 6 1
"Shame"[A] 35
"We Were Us" 25 2 26 1 1
2014 "Cop Car" 38 5 41 4 8
"Somewhere in My Car" 32 4 49 3 1
2015 "Raise 'Em Up" 47 1 56 8 1
"—" denotes releases that did not chart or were not released to that region
Notes
  • A^ "Shame" was released in Australia and New Zealand only as the second single from Fuse in August 2013.[12]

Other songs

"Even the Stars Fall 4 U" and "Good Thing" have charted at number 49 and number 50, respectively, on the US Hot Country Songs chart.[47]

Preceded by
Crash My Party by Luke Bryan
Top Country Albums number-one album
28 September 2013
Succeeded by
Off the Beaten Path by Justin Moore

References

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 Jurek, Thom. "Fuse – Keith Urban review". Allmusic. Retrieved 9 September 2013. 
  2. http://www.billboard.com/articles/columns/the-615/1564963/keith-urbans-fuse-is-lit-talks-up-diversity-of-new-album
  3. http://www.usatoday.com/story/life/music/2013/08/23/keith-urban-fuse-album-10-things-you-should-know/2694231/
  4. 4.0 4.1 "R&R :: Going For Adds :: Country". Radio & Records. Retrieved 15 September 2013. 
  5. http://www.myfoxny.com/clip/10998547/keith-urban
  6. Graff, Gary (28 May 2013). "Keith Urban's 'Fuse' is Lit, Talks-up 'Diversity' of New Album". Billboard. Retrieved 28 May 2013. 
  7. 7.0 7.1 Trust, Gary (12 May 2015). "Keith Urban Lights Up Fourth 'Fuse' No. 1 on Country Airplay Chart". Billboard. Prometheus Global Media. Retrieved 12 May 2015. 
  8. Conaway, Alanna (12 August 2013). "Keith Urban Channels U2 for Upcoming Album". Roughstock. Retrieved 12 September 2013. 
  9. "See The Official Fuse Album Cover!". Keith Urban. Retrieved 8 August 2013. 
  10. http://www.amazon.com/Little-Bit-Of-Everything/dp/B00CRTNTD2/
  11. Mansfield, Brian (10 September 2013). "Keith Urban finds right chemistry for new 'Fuse'". USA Today. Retrieved 15 September 2013. 
  12. 12.0 12.1 "Chartifacts - Tuesday 3rd September, 2013 - ARIA Music News". ARIA. Retrieved 25 September 2013. 
  13. 13.0 13.1 Metacritic (11 September 2013). "Critic Reviews for Fuse". CBS Interactive. Retrieved 12 September 2013. 
  14. 14.0 14.1 Paxman, Bob (16 September 2013). "Reviews: Keith Urban — Fuse". Country Weekly. 20 (37): 51. ISSN 1074-3235. 
  15. 15.0 15.1 Ash, Amanda (11 September 2013). "Album review: Keith Urban, Fuse". Edmonton Journal. Retrieved 12 September 2013. 
  16. 16.0 16.1 Newman, Melinda (10 September 2013). "Keith Urban's 'Fuse' marries country with other musical styles: Album Review". HitFix. Retrieved 10 September 2013. 
  17. 17.0 17.1 Perusse, Bernard (6 September 2013). "New music review: Fuse, Keith Urban". Montreal Gazette. Retrieved 7 September 2013. 
  18. 18.0 18.1 Gamboa, Glenn (9 September 2013). "'Fuse' review: Keith Urban stretches". Newsday. Retrieved 10 September 2013. 
  19. 19.0 19.1 Graff, Gary (9 September 2013). "Listening Room: Urban's "Fuse," Crow's "Feels Like Home" walk the same country lane". The Oakland Press. Retrieved 10 September 2013. 
  20. 20.0 20.1 Hermes, Will (10 September 2013). "Keith Urban, 'Fuse'". Rolling Stone. Retrieved 10 September 2013. 
  21. 21.0 21.1 21.2 Peacock, Bobby (6 September 2013). "Keith Urban — Fuse review". Roughstock. Retrieved 7 September 2013. 
  22. 22.0 22.1 Shriver, Jerry (10 September 2013). "Listen Up: Keith Urban, Kaskade, 2 Chainz". USA Today. Retrieved 10 September 2013. 
  23. Caramanica, Jon (9 September 2013). "2 Chainz, Arctic Monkeys and Keith Urban Release New Albums". The New York Times. Retrieved 12 September 2013. 
  24. Bjorke, Matt (25 September 2013). "Country Album Chart News: The Week of September 25, 2013: Justin Moore, Chris Young lead 5 country artists in all genre Top 10". Roughstock. Retrieved 25 September 2013. 
  25. 25.0 25.1 "Upcoming Releases: Hits Daily Double". Hits Daily Double. Archived from the original on 9 April 2016. 
  26. Fuse (Deluxe Edition) (CD booklet). Keith Urban. Capitol Records Nashville/Hit Red Records. 2013. B0019113-02. 
  27. "Australiancharts.com – Keith Urban – Fuse". Hung Medien.
  28. "ARIA Report" (PDF). ARIA. Retrieved 18 August 2014. 
  29. "Keith Urban – Chart history" Billboard Canadian Albums Chart for Keith Urban.
  30. "Charts.org.nz – Keith Urban – Fuse". Hung Medien.
  31. "Official Country Artists Albums Chart Top 20". Official Charts Company. Retrieved 18 August 2014.
  32. "Keith Urban – Chart history" Billboard 200 for Keith Urban.
  33. "Keith Urban – Chart history" Billboard Top Country Albums for Keith Urban.
  34. "ARIA Top 100 Albums 2013". Australian Recording Industry Association. Retrieved 5 March 2014. 
  35. "Billboard 200 Albums: Year-End top-selling albums across all genres". Billboard. 
  36. "Top Country Albums: 2013 Year-End Charts". Billboard. Prometheus Global Media. Retrieved 16 January 2015. 
  37. "End of Year Charts – ARIA Top 100 Albums 2014". Template:No italic. Australian Recording Industry Association. Retrieved 7 January 2015. 
  38. "Billboard 200 Albums: Year-End top-selling albums across all genres". Billboard. 
  39. "Top Country Albums: 2014 Year-End Charts". Billboard. Prometheus Global Media. Retrieved 16 January 2015. 
  40. "ARIA Charts – Accreditations – 2014 Albums". Australian Recording Industry Association. Retrieved 7 January 2015. 
  41. "Canadian album certifications – Keith Urban – Fuse". Music Canada. Retrieved 7 January 2015. 
  42. "American album certifications – Keith Urban – Fuse". Recording Industry Association of America. Retrieved 7 January 2015.  If necessary, click Advanced, then click Format, then select Album, then click SEARCH
  43. "Discography Keith Urban". australian-charts.com / Hung Medien. Retrieved 5 January 2015. 
  44. "Keith Urban Album & Song Chart History - Canadian Hot 100". Billboard. Prometheus Global Media. Retrieved 20 November 2013. 
  45. "Keith Urban Album & Song Chart History - Canada Country". Billboard. Prometheus Global Media. Retrieved 20 November 2013. 
  46. http://www.billboard.com/artist/305660/Keith+Urban/chart?f=379
  47. 47.0 47.1 "Keith Urban chart history". Billboard. Retrieved 8 August 2013. 
  48. "Keith Urban Album & Song Chart History - Country Airplay". Billboard. Prometheus Global Media. Retrieved 15 September 2013. 

External links

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