- Broken Base:
- Depending on who you ask, "Without You" is either a great and emotional ballad, or a boring Cliché Storm.
- All of his releases from Fuse onward. Either he's pushing his sound in new and interesting directions, or making bland pop garbage that's even less indebted to country than his already-barely-country sounding base. His 2018 release "Coming Home" is a particular base-breaker, given its extremely pop sound, cliché lyrics about returning from the city to the country, unnecessary addition of a Z-list pop diva (Julia Michaels), and poor sampling of "Mama Tried" which has no connection to the theme whatsoever.
- Covered Up:
- "Some Days You Gotta Dance": He originally recorded this while in The Ranch, but the more famous version is by the Dixie Chicks. However, he played guitar on their version.
- "Stupid Boy": Sarah Buxton co-wrote it and recorded her version around the same time as Urban, but her version was not available commercially until after Urban's version peaked.
- He was apparently a big fan of Radney Foster's 1998 album See What You Want to See, as he covered two tracks from it: "Raining on Sunday" in 2003 and "I'm In" seven years later. The latter was also released as a single by Foster himself, and again in 2000 by The Kinleys, whose version Foster produced.
- "Making Memories of Us" was first recorded by Tracy Byrd. Rodney Crowell (who wrote it) and Vince Gill later recorded the song as part of their side project, The Notorious Cherry Bombs, before Urban released his rendition.
- Critical Dissonance: His album Ripcord was panned by most country music critics for sounding much more electronic and pop, even compared to his previous works. That didn't stop all five of its singles from reaching #1 or #2 on the country charts though.
- Don't Shoot the Message: Most fans and critics agree that "Female" was well-intentioned and socially relevant, especially since a.) Urban and the writers admit that it was inspired by the Harvey Weinstein scandals and b.) the country music genre has had a long struggle with misogyny that has only become more rampant in The New '10s. However, almost as many will agree that the song's execution of said intentions was sorely lacking: the chorus is just a laundry list of vaguely-inspirational terms (some of which, such as "holy water" and "fortune teller" aren't even sex-specific), while the verses include a casual dismissal of rape culture, a potshot at Beyoncé's "Run the World (Girls)", and a narmtastic bending of the Adam and Eve story. Some publications, such as Elle, The Verge, and The Pool dedicated articles to picking apart its lyrics, claiming it to be hypocritical "mansplaining" and a terrible handling of its timely subject matter. Even The Late Show with Stephen Colbert mocked the song. Small wonder that it ended his 37-straight streak of Top 10 hits on the country charts.
- Dork Age: Defying Gravity and Get Closer were seen as slightly weaker than his previous albums due to an overabundance of Silly Love Songs and the latter having only eight tracks. He seemed to get away with the New Sound Album Fuse thanks to strong single choices such as "Cop Car" and "Raise 'em Up", and Ripcord netted his biggest hit to date with "Blue Ain't Your Color". But the Dork Age seems to have restarted with Graffiti U, thanks to the negative reception of "Female" (see above) and "Coming Home" (an electronic pop song with boring lyrics, completely unnecessary vocals from an unknown pop female artist [especially ironic in a time that country music has become even less receptive than ever to its own women], and a poorly-executed and ill-fitting sample of "Mama Tried").
- Ending Fatigue: "Somebody Like You" and "Better Life" both end on a mix of solo and ad-libbed vocals which both push them over the six-minute mark. "Stupid Boy" and "Everybody" also have long instrumental codas, which drag on even longer due to both being ballads.
- It's Short, So It Sucks!: Get Closer caught some flak from fans for only having eight songs on it.
- Older Than They Think:
- Most people who know him only for "Somebody Like You" onward probably don't even know of his first US album, never mind the album he did in The Ranch or his 1991 Australian album.
- He was not the first Australian to have a major hit in the US. Olivia Newton-John had multiple country hits in The '70s before undergoing a Genre Shift; and a few other Aussies had some degree of success in the US before him, including Diana Trask, Sherrié Austin, and Jamie O'Neal, whose "There Is No Arizona" topped the country music charts one week before Urban's first US #1 "But for the Grace of God".
- Tear Jerker: Several of his songs in general, but the one song his fanbase is known for weeping like a baby to is "Desiree" back from his days in The Ranch.
YMMV / Keith Urban