While Urban wanted to expand his sound, it's to his credit that so many songs bear his distinctive artistic stamp. For example, "Even The Stars Fall 4 U" — co-produced by Walker — may feature a pumped-up chorus, but it sounds like a natural evolution of Urban's upbeat hits from the last dozen years.
Elsewhere, the "American Idol" judge tackles new sounds, and "Fuse" benefits from how Urban rises to these challenges.
"Shame," co-written and co-produced by Stargate's Tor Hermansen and Mikkel Eriksen, takes Urban's confessional lyric and turns it into a heartfelt pop anthem. On "Love's Poster Child," co-produced by Joyce, Urban embraces the hard-rock edge of young country stars and cranks out an up-tempo tune as fierce as any of the newcomers.
Not everything works — "Good Thing," co-produced by Elizondo, apes too many current country clichés to sound fresh. Overall, though, "Fuse" shows Urban maintaining his consistency while challenging himself creatively.