Almost Honest

Almost Honest

4.8 9
by Josh Kelley

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Josh Kelley follows his polite 2003 debut, For the Ride Home, with a great leap forward called Almost Honest. For his second record, Kelley has expanded his songwriting palette past the jangly John Mayer comparisons to incorporate a slick, funky pop sound comparable to Maroon 5 or Rob Thomas' solo work. (In fact, Honest…  See more details below


Josh Kelley follows his polite 2003 debut, For the Ride Home, with a great leap forward called Almost Honest. For his second record, Kelley has expanded his songwriting palette past the jangly John Mayer comparisons to incorporate a slick, funky pop sound comparable to Maroon 5 or Rob Thomas' solo work. (In fact, Honest was produced by Matt Wallace, who also helmed Maroon's breakthrough, Songs About Jane.) The strong late-album cut "Hard Times Happen" could be a Jane outtake, while opener "Walk Fast" is irresistibly slinky, and possessed of a rhythm somewhere around Steely Dan. Kelley co-wrote the lead single "Only You" with the Matrix, and it bears some of the pop hitmakers' signature touches -- a processed guitar cuts through the verses over warm electronic programming, and its chorus grabs you with weird lyrics about acting "all sweetness" that nevertheless sound perfect to your tapping foot. This veer left from adult alternative, singer/songwriter shagginess does wonders for Kelley. As affable as his debut was, it was also cut from the Mayer cloth, a place where everything's a wonderland but nothing's memorable. In Almost Honest, Kelley has a confident modern pop album that's melodic and ultra-accessible, but also packed with vibrant, interesting songwriting. He works with Joe Firstman on the gorgeous title track, a song just waiting for a late-night drive, lite rock radio, and a Lionel Richie segue. And "Lover Come Up," a collaboration with Better Than Ezra's Kevin Griffin, lopes along like mildly salacious blue-eyed R&B ("And when I get the urge/I'll give the love that you deserve..."). Kelley's on his game vocally throughout Almost Honest. He's not the best singer in the world, but he doesn't pretend to be, instead working within the songs, inhabiting their dynamic arrangements. He's dusty-throat confident on the country-rocker "20 Miles to Georgia" and softly expressive on the midnight mood of "Shameless Heart." It's forgivable if the latter sounds a little too much like Chris Isaak covering Mazzy Star, because it's part of a record that wears its slick, modern sound with pride.

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Product Details

Release Date:
Hollywood Records


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Album Credits

Performance Credits

Josh Kelley   Primary Artist,Acoustic Guitar,Percussion,Electric Guitar,Vocals,Background Vocals
Michael Bland   Drums
Jimmy Harry   Slide Guitar
Matt Wallace   Percussion
Michael Ward   Electric Guitar
David Goodstein   Drums
Ben Peeler   Dulcimer,Lap Steel Guitar,Guitar (12 String Acoustic)
Clarence Allen   Hammond Organ
Spencer Albee   Organ,Clavinet,Wurlitzer
Jacob Luttrell   Wurlitzer
Robert Randolph   Pedal Steel Guitar
Joe Firstman   Piano,Background Vocals
Dave Yaden   Organ,Banjo,Keyboards,Hammond Organ,Background Vocals,Sampled Strings
Jason "Slim" Gambill   Acoustic Guitar,Electric Guitar
Zac Roe   Organ,chamberlain,Wurlitzer

Technical Credits

Karl Berger   String Arrangements
Rick Parker   Producer
Scott Cutler   Composer
Jimmy Harry   Composer
Jim Scott   Producer,Engineer
Matt Wallace   Producer
Mike Landolt   Engineer
Mike Daly   Composer
Posie Muliadi   Engineer
Anne Preven   Composer
Joe Firstman   Composer,Producer
Josh Kelley   Composer,Vocal Engineer,Guitar Engineer
Eric Clinger   Executive Producer
Dave Yaden   Composer
Matrix   Programming,Producer,Engineer

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Almost Honest 4.9 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 9 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Josh Kelley is an amazing artist. His voice is awsome. His 1st album and the 2nd album are both great. Defidently outstanding.
Guest More than 1 year ago
JK's voice is amazing, rich, hearty. Songs are diverse and soulful. Buy it. You'll enjoy it.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Josh Kelley's second album "AlmostHonest" is nothing short of amazing. As we all know artists always have to worry about the legendary "sophmore album curse", but not here. No need to worry Josh. "Almost Honest" is a very creative, and well put together cd. In my opinion it is even better than his first album "For the Ride Home." If you are into artists such as Gavin DeGraw, you will absolutely love Josh Kelley.
Guest More than 1 year ago
If this is the first time or first CD you have heard about Josh, it is not too late. This CD is amazing, you can listen to the CD all the way through, NEVER having to skip over so so tracks. This is not Josh's first great album, but this one seems to have gotten more public attention. For whatever reason it is, go out and get it, you will not be disapointed. It is feel good music, you can listen to it in any mood, have fun with it, enjoy!
Guest More than 1 year ago
This Cd is amazing. Much different than Josh's first album, he has a more blues vibe. With this Cd, there is AT LEAST one song to relate to everyone. With his soulful voice Josh has put out another album that is, to say the least, a must buy.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Josh's sophomore album "Almost Honest" is a wonderful blend of Josh's influences. His Jazz Gospel and Funk influences are evident in hard-hitting tracks like Hard Times Happen (my personal favorite) and Only You. Other tracks like Walk Fast, Lover Come Up and Love is Breaking My Heart at the very least will get you to tap your feet, perhaps even nod your head. True to his Southern upbringing, 20 Miles to Georgia throws in a little country flavor. The title track Almost Honest is a gorgeous pop ballad that combines his smooth and soulful vocals with beautiful background vocals (props to Darwin Johnson and Dave Yaden) and completely honest lyrics. He displays his skills as a collaborator, being the co-writer for all of the songs on the album along with Darwin Johnson, Dave Yaden and Joe Firstman, to name a few. Overall, the album leaves you with the sensation of releasing a satisfied sigh as if the songs were exactly what you wanted to hear.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I love this album. It is really good. The band and josh kelley are really good its one of my favorite cd's.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I got this CD for my Birthday and was NOT disappointed at all! Every track is so unique and original and with a soulful blend of pop meets indie guitar riffs, its hard to stop listening to it! The standout track has to be "Hard Times Happen" or the unforgettable "Only You". Definitely worth buying. You wont be disappointed :)
Guest More than 1 year ago
i love love this cd its got great ballads and amazing vocals i cannot stop singing "only you" he is absolutely one of my favorites.