Keith Urban returns to center with his new single "We Were," a song that's (presumably) the first taste of an upcoming 11th album. The mid-tempo vocal showcase tells the story of yesterday's love, something the Entertainer of the Year hasn't done much of lately.

In fact, after beginning his career with a good mix of love and heartbreak Urban has almost entirely stayed away from the pain of a separation since delivering "Til Summer Comes Around" to radio in 2009 ("We Were Us," a 2013 duet with Miranda Lambert, is a notable exception).

"We Were" doesn't quite have the same bite of that under-appreciated piece of country storytelling, but the emotional elements are there: guy smiles back on an old relationship only to be whiplashed into the present upon admitting she's gone and not coming back.

Banjo — or more likely Urban's signature ganjo — opens "We Were" and runs beneath a sparse rhythmic arrangement that swells with a vocal-heavy chorus. There's plenty of space here — fans and critics who thought the 2019 Taste of Country Music Festival headliner pushed too far with Graffiti U will appreciate this new song. In so many ways it's a throwback to the music this versatile singer created earlier in the decade.

Did You Know? "We Were" was written by Eric Church, Ryan Tyndell and Jeff Hyde and co-produced by Dann Huff and Urban. This pair co-produced all of Urban's 2000-10 albums.

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Keith Urban's "We Were" Lyrics:

We were, just a couple years short of the age by my name on my fake ID / And still 'bout a hundred away from the day your daddy said you could run with me / We were a couple of line-steppers that just couldn't wait to step over the line / Never thinking we wouldn't last, I was your first and you were mine. 

First Chorus:
And we were / Leather jackets hanging on to Harley, two heartbeats in the moonlight / We were, both feet hanging out over the edge of a water tower skyline / At least there's a little bit of sweet in the bitter although part of me is always gonna miss it / I am who I am, I just miss who I was when we were. 

We were gonna make it work, baby, had it all laid out in out in my mind / By the time we knew time was running out, we'd done run out of time / We were downtown, Saturday night, last call cover band / Till that last song played, never thought we'd fade like the stamp on the back of your hand. 

Second Chorus:
And we were on my shoulder, lighter in the air "Pour Some Sugar On Me" / We were, top down at Johnston's field when she whispered that she wants me / At least there's a little bit of sweet in the bitter although part of me is always gonna miss it / I am who I am, I just miss who I was when we were. 

Repeat First Chorus

Friends say, oh well let that ship sail, you gotta let go of her / It just wasn't meant to be, but somewhere down deep I still believe that we were.