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Keith Urban, ‘For You’ – Song Review

For You
Capitol Nashville

The release of ‘For You’ as Keith Urban‘s new single seems loaded with trepidation. Typically (but certainly not always) an artist will release a single, make a video and then perform it at an awards show. With ‘For You’ the order was jumbled, perhaps indicating that Urban’s team wasn’t sure how the song would be received by fans and radio.

It’s an honest worry, as songs about the United States military from artists born outside the U.S. often land with an quiet Splat! Urban overcomes anyone’s anxieties with a performance that is vulnerable, personal and anything but phony. One wonders if he has his wife and daughters on his mind as he sings about standing guard and making sacrifices. The cathartic anthem soars as proudly as the stars and stripes.

And I wonder, would I give my life / Could I make that sacrifice / If it came down to it, could I take the bullet, I would / Yes I would for you,” he sings during the chorus. The mood is well-set by that point, with a spooky acoustic guitar lick providing the drama. Overall the production is superb.

‘For You’ was written for the ‘Act of Valor’ soundtrack and as a result the lyrics are much more literal than many of the hits that have previously flowed from Urban’s pen. It remains to be seen how it will sound between George Strait and Taylor Swift on country radio, as it does somewhat feel like a song meant to run during the end credits of a film. As a gesture of his sincerity in writing the song, the singer is donating all of his artist and publishing royalties to the Navy Seal Foundation.

“Baby, you don’t understand / I don’t understand it all myself / But there’s a brother on my left, and another on my right / And in his pocket just like mine / He’s got a photograph and they’re waiting for him back home,” he says in the second verse.

To sing this song as convincingly as he does, Urban must have internalized the message in some way, as he’s never fought in a war or shielded a buddy from enemy fire. Whatever personal battles he’s fought and overcame are his business, and will likely stay that way. For fans, the end product is good enough.

3.5 Stars

Listen to Keith Urban’s ‘For You’

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