Review – Keith Urban’s “The Fighter” (feat. Carrie Underwood)


With the Ripcord era, Keith Urban has descended into straight up pop music. He’s always had a pop influence in his songs, but there’s always some kind of country element present. That’s now gone for the most part. I reviewed Ripcord last year to shine light on how bad music is bad music no matter what genre you put it in. His newest single “The Fighter” is the most shining example on the album. Obviously not country from the first seconds of the song, we get obnoxiously loud synth and drum loops making me think I’ve found a wormhole back to the 80s. That’s immediately the first impression I get from this song: bad 80s music. The lyrics of this song are somehow more ridiculous. We get the unbelievable premise of Urban being the man who fights for his woman, an image I don’t think I’ve ever thought of when it comes to Urban. Carrie Underwood joins in on the song as the woman of this man’s desire he saves from her scares and problems. Again ridiculous because I see Underwood as a strong woman capable of holding her own without the help of Urban of all people. Underwood’s contribution are also pretty damn scant, as she sings the same three lines for most of the song before a couple of verses in the bridge. After thinking about it more, this song reminds me of another terrible song: Maroon 5’s “Moves Like Jagger.” Just like this song, it has an impossible to believe premise (Adam Levine having the moves like Jagger), a really cheap beat and a strong vocalist barely showing up (Christina Aguilera). The only things I would give “The Fighter” over “Moves Like Jagger” is that it’s more catchy and has a better hook. But this doesn’t save this terrible song. When you have a country song that’s closer to bad 80s music and Maroon 5, you know you’ve got something truly horrendous.

Grade: As a country song, 0/10. As a pop song, 2/10


Recommend? – No way!


Written & Produced by Keith Urban and busbee

15 thoughts on “Review – Keith Urban’s “The Fighter” (feat. Carrie Underwood)

  1. Raymond February 13, 2017 / 11:13 am

    What gets me is both artists have done better whether it be pop or country. Carrie Underwood has more pop leaning songs like “Before He Cheats” “So Small” “See You Again” and “Two Black Cadillacs” and all of them have more an anthem like quality and Carrie Underwood gives her all. That’s what sucks about Carrie Underwood it feels like she’s on autopilot lately. For Keith Urban songs like “Kiss A Girl” “Sweet Thing” are amazing.

    But Keith Urban has had my favorite two shot of singles ever in “I Told You So” (genre bending done right, so Keith Urban should know how to genre bend) and “Stupid Boy” which was so amazing.

    What ruins this song is the ridiculous prescence, the phoned in performance from both acts, and my gosh the production sucks from a pop and Dance perspective.

    Overall garbage and I don’t know what’s worse this or Sam Hunt latest . Because with Sam Hunt I am used to failure while with Keith Urban AND ESPECIALLY Carrie Underwood have done a lot better. 😠

    Overall 0/10 regardless of genre. This song makes me want to hurl😝😝


  2. Kevin Davis February 13, 2017 / 11:23 am

    Please, please let this flop on country radio. That may be wishful thinking, after “Fix” and everything Sam Hunt releases, but please let this be beyond the pale of “country” radio. For goodness sake, this song makes Thomas Rhett sound like a bonafide hillbilly.

    In happier news, I saw Tracy Lawrence at Coyote Joe’s on Friday, and the place was packed with young people. Everywhere I looked were twenty-something’s, including lots of young women, who knew the lyrics to every Tracy Lawrence song — even though many of them weren’t born when Tracy had his first hit. There is hope!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Nadia Lockheart February 13, 2017 / 1:09 pm

    I’m not expecting this to flop by any measure, but this definitely resembles a bellwether moment as to how far marquee entertainers are willing to go outside the confides of genre and still get away with it with great dividends.

    If it were even possible, I’d dare say this pisses me off even more than “Blue Ain’t Your Color”. As douchey as the lyrics were in that song also and was far removed from country itself, the attempt to at least re-imagine the waltz in an electronic form “kind” of worked in moments. And at least Urban gave one of his better vocal performances as well.

    Here, it all sounds gimmicky in a way that doesn’t sound remotely fresh. It’s clearly attempting to give off a contemporary spin on the urban cowboy craze that launched with the hit 1980 film of the same name and country that played on Western motifs and staple accessories but incorporated subtle disco-era elements and bolo ties.

    But here, there’s not even a speck or remnant of country identity. It is a straight-up disco ditty, and a watered-down facsimile at that.

    For one, the synthesizers are void of flavor and distinction here and don’t even anchor what is supposed to be the baseline but hardly has much heft itself. It’s the musical equivalent of a holographic skirt that is thrown in a laundry machine recurringly as opposed to spot-cleaned by hand: it may still visually resemble and remind you of a time and place that may be dear to your heart, but it lacks the luster in that the foil finish is receding by now.

    And the vocals…………..just cone across as phoned-in. There’s little chemistry between Urban and Underwood, but then again when your song is lyrically playing on the patriarchal insistence of a man coming to “save the day” of a damsel in distress hopelessly traumatized by a man who did her wrong before and that only he can “rescue” her and promises utopia in turn………..what were you expecting anyway?

    Fittingly, Carrie Underwood hardly is featured in this song in a marquee context. She really only begs the knight in shining armor that is Keith in the chorus what he’ll do if she falls or cries or gets scared, and Urban assures nothing short of manna from the heavens as long as she takes his word. Oh, I can’t see ANYTHING going wrong with that scenario! =P


    In the end, yeah: “The Fighter” is another travesty on the part of an A-lister I used to really enjoy on a steady basis, and it is beyond me why one of few female A-listers in the genre is willing to stoop to this level in a song that thematically reinforces the sexism abound in the mainstream country/”country” establishment.

    I by no means expect this to flop at supposed “country radio”. In fact, you can bet this will become another career hit for Urban. But it will also be looked back upon, dubuously, as one of the keynote songs that signaled country radio’s complete exodus from its roots and traditions. For shame.

    I’m thinking a Decent to Strong 1 out of 10 for this.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Ron February 13, 2017 / 1:18 pm

      And Brad paisleys’s duet with demi lovato was so much better and far more country than this song and it stalled outside the top 10.


      • Nadia Lockheart February 13, 2017 / 2:57 pm

        Honestly, I get why that underachieved.

        Firstly, it sounded too dated with the Rolling Stones-esque guitar crunches and, secondly, the lyrics lacked a conversational flow that is endemic to many Brad Paisley songs. It just didn’t stick melodically.

        Obviously I prefer “Without A Fight” over the single in question ANY day. But I frankly get why “Without A Fight” did’t fare well.


  4. OlaR February 13, 2017 / 1:43 pm

    Sounds like a massive “country” hit.
    “The Fighter” is a perfect 0/10.

    2016 was the turn-around- year for country music? Because of the success of Chris Stapleton, Sturgill Simpson or Cody Jinks? Hell no! It was the year of Thomas Rhett, Kelsea Ballerini & the (so far) one-hit-wonder Maren Morris or Chris Lane.
    But 2017 will be much better. For sure. Not. Sam Hunt, “The Fighter” & other urban-disco-pop-shit will dominate country radio & sell tons of albums or singles because the format must evolve & reach the next level.
    Not my words…but the new fans of the genre know what “country” means: “THIS is what country music should sound like!” (about “The Fighter”).


    • Kevin Davis February 13, 2017 / 2:53 pm

      Exactly, OlaR. Even though SCM and other outlets will praise the phenomenal success of Stapleton and Isbell and Simpson — and rightly so! — and thereby herald a turning point in country music, I remain skeptical. As a mainstream format, country music in 2016 was worse than 2015, which was worse than 2014 and so on.

      The battle over “country music” is a battle over the mainstream and normative means for how the general populace receives country music. This means that the major labels, country radio, CMT, Spotify playlists, etc., are still massively influential. I am thrilled that Stapleton had the #1 selling country album of 2016, but that’s not enough. We have to be vigilant against the Nashville lust for a monogenre that would bring every recording artist to Nashville instead of NYC and LA. That’s the goal, and we must resist!


  5. Amanda February 13, 2017 / 2:09 pm

    This is a damn shame. Keith is amazingly talented, but we get this shit and the sleazy, snooze-tacular Blue Ain’t Your Color. Carrie Underwood is arguably the best female vocalist in mainstream country music currently. I’m actually a bit saddened by this, because i have never given Carrie anything lower than a 5\10 on my personal pulse. Carrie on her worst day (before The Fighter) is better than Chris Lane, Sam Hunt, and the bros on their best day. But to call a spade a spade, this is shit that belongs nowhere near country music. 0\10


  6. Joseph Stein February 13, 2017 / 2:37 pm

    As Keith’s biggest fan and an apologist, I can truly say this is a travesty.

    Liked by 2 people

  7. David February 13, 2017 / 9:52 pm



  8. wvcountry24733 February 15, 2017 / 9:53 am

    As much as I hate to say it, Sam Hunt’s Montevallo was more “country” than this…and it wasn’t country…I want the next person who says Sturgill’s cd isn’t country enough to take a long listen to this and Body Like a Backroad then tell me what’s really country


  9. wvcountry24733 February 15, 2017 / 9:54 am

    I would rather hear Vanilla Ice and T- Pain duet the rest of my life than this shit…at least it would be more entertaining


  10. David March 6, 2017 / 3:12 am

    The is pure pop like in the late seventies and early eighties with Kenny Rogers but it is a catchy song and not a big fan of twangy country music. I prefer to listen to Christian music and to write and perform Christian music to glorify Jesus. No other genre of music including country music does that. Give me Steven Curtis Chapman, casting Criwns, Sidewalk Prophets, etc. Keith Urban’s best album was Golden Road and Stupid Boy one of his better songs.


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