The country music formula has endured longer than most genres of music, but Keith Urban wants to challenge himself with his upcoming album "Fuse." He says there are two "sure ways" of losing fans: not giving them what they want, and always giving them what they want. Urban hopes to walk a fine line between the two extremes.
"There's nothing new about crossover country material. That's happened since the '50s. Glen Campbell was just much a pop star as he was a country star. There's really nothing much country about 'Wichita Lineman.' The singer makes it country. What Taylor [Swift] is doing [now], Barbara Mandrell was doing that in the Eighties, Shania Twain did it in the Nineties," he said. "I've always found country to be basically like a church," he muses. "It's got to keep evolving, but it's gotta do it in a way that it doesn't lose its values or its core congregation."
So what sort of experimentation will Urban being doing during "Fuse"? Unfortunately for fans of Florida Georgia Line's "Cruise," rapping will not be featured on the album. Harder rock fans might enjoy the industrial approach Urban took for "Even Stars Fall 4 U."
"It's sort of industrial-punk-ish, relative to what I do. Not like anything I've done before," he said. "If you put a really great, wicked drum loop under a song, you end up with something really interesting."
Urban says that the album was ultimately inspired by U2's follow-up to "Joshua Tree," "Achtung Baby."
"Bono said, [Achtung Baby] had to be the sound of [U2] chopping down The Joshua Tree,' which I thought was great," he said. "That's where I found myself at," he says. "I can keep making the same record, but I don't want to do that."