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Keith Urban (Feat. Eric Church), ‘Raise ‘Em Up’ – ToC Critic’s Pick [Listen]

Raise Em Up
Capitol Nashville

Keith Urban’s ‘Raise ‘Em Up’ is a guy’s song. The singer taps Eric Church to help him with this expressive, emotional lyric. Fathers — especially new fathers — may want to start chopping onions before the bridge.

It’s a progression. There’s nothing to get verklempt about early. “Raising up” a lighter on a Saturday night or your favorite pickup truck typically brings euphoria, but Urban and co-producer Nathan Chapman’s arrangement foreshadows where the song is headed. The rolling acoustic rhythm holds the celebration back, with good reason.

Raise ‘em up / I’m talkin’ ‘bout Daddy’s old pickup truck / Shotgun seat, there’s the one you love and you’re kissin’ on,” Urban sings, turning the song around with just a few words. Church’s verse is a chest-pounding, patriotic tribute that leads into a somber remembrance of a fallen soldier.

Lift those tear-filled eyes up to the sky / As the flag flies, say goodbye / Tonight we’re gonna / Raise ‘em up.”

In barely three minutes, Urban’s new single from ‘Fuse’ goes from a wild weekend to raising kids, all while hinting at the preciousness of time. Rarely is so much said in so little time with so much efficiency and emotion. Give Jaren Johnston, Jeffery Steele and Tom Douglas the credit for ‘Raise ‘Em Up,’ an early candidate for Song of the Year.

So, you meet someone / The only one / You take her by the hand / Make a stand / Buy some land / Make some love / And them babies come … Raise ‘em up,” Urban sings at the bridge.

‘Raise ‘Em Up’ will bounce off certain groups of fans like Taylor Swift’s best songs bounce off a 45-year-old bachelor. The rest will indeed raise ’em up with Urban and Church.

Key Lyrics: “Raise ‘em up, trophy high / Raise ‘em up to the sky / Raise ‘em up, show everybody that newborn smile / Raise ‘em up tall and strong / Raise ‘em up right from wrong / Raise ‘em up so damn high they can hear God singing along”

Did You Know?: This is the third time Urban has released five singles from one of his albums.

Listen to Keith Urban, ‘Raise ‘Em Up’

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