Keith Urban smiles and laughs a bit when asked where he finds himself in the lyrics to his new song, "Messed Up as Me."

He didn't write the song, and as a man married for 18 years in June of 2024, he's not lived it in quite some time. But do those old memories ever fade?

"I was hopin' baby, maybe you'd be / As messed up as me / And all your friends have all gone home," he sings to begin each chorus. Credit Jessie Jo Dillon, Michael Lotten, Rodney Clawson and Shane McAnally for the lyrics of "Messed Up as Me."

  • "Messed Up as Me" is the second song released from an album Urban says is finished and ready for release in 2024.
  • Talking to Taste of Country, he admits he cut a full album in 2023 and scrapped it.
  • Highlights from Urban's conversation with Evan Paul are below. Look for video on ToC YouTube on Friday afternoon (March 1) and the full, unedited conversation on Taste of Country Nights, On Demand podcast on March 6.

"It's a song about being in a relationship that maybe only has one good aspect to it," Urban says. "All the rest is completely toxic and dysfunctional. But this one area is fan-freaking-tastic. So you put up with all the rest."

Related: Keith Urban + Nicole Kidman's Most Adorable Pictures Together

"Straight Line" was the first song Urban shared from his next project, and fans were quick to point out it sounded like old-school Keith Urban. This new song doesn't, he says.

"That was sort of intentional to show that there is, to your point, elements that are familiar. And then a lot of elements that are new, blended together," he says. "Getting that blend is always the challenge for me."

It was particularly challenging for this next album, the follow-up to The Speed of Now Part I, released in 2020. So challenging, in fact, that it took mulitple tries.

Taste of Country: Is there a lyric in "Messed Up as Me" that hits you hardest?

Keith Urban: All of it. "When I get blue I get dark blue." Absolutely. Yeah. There's so many relatable lyrics in this song.

Keith Urban Messed Up As Me Cover Art
Capitol Nashville

Are you constantly thinking about and working on new songs, or do you have seasons of creativity?

Bit of both, I think. Yeah, ideas come a lot and I think of them as, like, fireflies, and you just put them in a jar, and then when you go to write a song, open up the jar and use that firefly to spark the song, and off we go.

What a great way to put it, man. Usually when I think of radio bits, I just write them in Notepad. I'd never pictured a jar. 

They're like little inspirations that were natural when they came. And maybe when you go to write a song, inspiration shows up that day. Maybe it doesn't. And if it doesn't, it's kind of nice to have some in a jar.

Let me ask you, where's the craziest place inspiration has popped into your head?

Oh, the shower. Always. Always the shower for everything. Every idea. My show ideas, everything. Guitar ideas, song ideas, lyrics, everything.

So it's safe to say, like, a Keith Urban written song was written in the nude?

That's very possible. So sorry about that. Everybody cannot un-see that.

What's different and what's the same on this project that's coming up from Keith Urban?

This album actually started as a different album probably just over two years ago. It was time to do a record, and I had a very fixed idea of what I should do — to have a framework to work within, because I can create in so many directions. Sometimes it gets a bit overwhelming for me, and trying to piece it together in something that has focus and direction can be difficult for me.

So I thought, well, I'll start with a framework — not so much a theme, but I'm going to work between this and that piece of framework — and everything will be within those two areas. This is going to really help me stay on track. And I finished a whole album like that in February '23, only to realize it's not finished. It was like 13 songs on there, and I could just tell. I came in and played it for my team, and I could feel the vibe in the room. I could feel it in myself. And I just sat there and I went, "It's not it, is it?" And they're like, "Well, you tell me." And I went, "No it's not." And my team's amazing. They don't BS.

That's good on you for being humble enough to be at this point in your career to realize that.

I could feel it. I was 98% in, and I got to be 100%.

Are there going to be any collaborations coming up?

There's one duet on the record, which is going to come out later this year, that I'm super psyched about. It's been frustrating, because we finished it in June last year. So I've been sitting on this thing since then, driving me crazy, just really wanting to get it out. So there it is.

No hints other than they're human, right?

They're human. Okay. Very vibration with an alien or anything. No AI, that's right. You're right.

Keith Urban, "Messed Up as Me" Lyrics:

When I get blue / I get dark blue / When I have one / I always have a few / When I get gone / I get real gone / When I get it wrong / I get it real wrong.

I’m out tonight and I’m feelin’ like / I should call you up and maybe take a shot / That you’re wide awake at a quarter to 3 / Maybe lookin’ through your camera roll / The tequila’s startin’ to take a toll / I was hopin’, baby / Maybe you’d be …

As messed up as me / And all alone / And all your friends / Have all gone home / And you hate that the truth / Is nobody leaves / Your head and your heart and your bed and your sheets / As messed up as me / As messed up as me.

When you get mad / You stay that way / And you always say you’re doing OK / But we both know it’s probably a lie / And you fall into pieces on the inside.

And you’re out tonight like you always are / You’re dressed to kill and your lips are red / And misery still loves company / Are you as messed up as me.

Repeat Chorus

As messed up as me and you / We used to / Paint this town, burn it down / And go round and round and round / What are you doing right now?

I’m out tonight and I’m feelin’ like / I should call you up and maybe take a shot / That you’re wide awake at a quarter to 3.

Repeat Chorus

15 of Keith Urban's Best Collaborations, Ranked

Keith Urban is a Swiss army knife when it comes to collaborations. The country singer' smooth vocals elevate a song while his impeccable guitar skills add a burst of energy to any melody.

The Aussie has never shied away from collaboration, even if it means stepping outside of country music. He's worked with artists like Dolly Parton, Carrie Underwood and Brad Paisley, while also joining forces with others like Taylor Swift, Pitbull and Pink.

Here are 15 of Keith Urban's best collaborations, ranked.

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