We can all probably agree that judging people by their musical taste is not wise. Plenty of jerks love what we love, and plenty of wonderful people might wrinkle their noses at our favorite playlists. And yet, when a certain subset of the internet learned that country singer Keith Urban was obsessed with unclassifiable English hip-hop/punk provocateurs Sleaford Mods, it seemed like Urban had to be reevaluated in the light of this new information.
Urban, who was raised in New Zealand and Australia, has described his latest release, “Graffiti U,” as “genre fluid.” And it’s true that the record doesn’t sound hemmed in by any specific notion of style constraints. It’s certainly not country in the would-Hank-have-done-it-this-way mode. There are bits of feel-good reggae-tinged uplift (“My Wave”), and hints of dance-pop and hip-hop production along with flashes of gentle acoustic soul (“Parallel Line”).
Urban might be flaunting his rebel side — in true country fashion — by doing what he wants.
Keith Urban performs at Mohegan Sun Arena, 1 Mohegan Sun Blvd., Uncasville, on Friday and Saturday, Sept. 7 and 8, at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $65 to $105. 860-226-7711 and mohegansun.com.