Keith Urban’s ‘We Were’ Pulls Back From Progressive Sound of ‘Graffiti U’ [Listen]
Keith Urban returns to center with his new single "We Were," a song that's (presumably) the first taste of an upcoming 11th album. The mid-tempo vocal showcase tells the story of yesterday's love, something the Entertainer of the Year hasn't done much of lately.
In fact, after beginning his career with a good mix of love and heartbreak Urban has almost entirely stayed away from the pain of a separation since delivering "Til Summer Comes Around" to radio in 2009 ("We Were Us," a 2013 duet with Miranda Lambert, is a notable exception).
"We Were" doesn't quite have the same bite of that under-appreciated piece of country storytelling, but the emotional elements are there: guy smiles back on an old relationship only to be whiplashed into the present upon admitting she's gone and not coming back.
Banjo — or more likely Urban's signature ganjo — opens "We Were" and runs beneath a sparse rhythmic arrangement that swells with a vocal-heavy chorus. There's plenty of space here — fans and critics who thought the 2019 Taste of Country Music Festival headliner pushed too far with Graffiti U will appreciate this new song. In so many ways it's a throwback to the music this versatile singer created earlier in the decade.
Did You Know? "We Were" was written by Eric Church, Ryan Tyndell and Jeff Hyde and co-produced by Dann Huff and Urban. This pair co-produced all of Urban's 2000-10 albums.
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Keith Urban's "We Were" Lyrics:
We were, just a couple years short of the age by my name on my fake ID / And still 'bout a hundred away from the day your daddy said you could run with me / We were a couple of line-steppers that just couldn't wait to step over the line / Never thinking we wouldn't last, I was your first and you were mine.
And we were / Leather jackets hanging on to Harley, two heartbeats in the moonlight / We were, both feet hanging out over the edge of a water tower skyline / At least there's a little bit of sweet in the bitter although part of me is always gonna miss it / I am who I am, I just miss who I was when we were.
We were gonna make it work, baby, had it all laid out in out in my mind / By the time we knew time was running out, we'd done run out of time / We were downtown, Saturday night, last call cover band / Till that last song played, never thought we'd fade like the stamp on the back of your hand.
And we were on my shoulder, lighter in the air "Pour Some Sugar On Me" / We were, top down at Johnston's field when she whispered that she wants me / At least there's a little bit of sweet in the bitter although part of me is always gonna miss it / I am who I am, I just miss who I was when we were.
Repeat First Chorus
Friends say, oh well let that ship sail, you gotta let go of her / It just wasn't meant to be, but somewhere down deep I still believe that we were.