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Josh Kelley
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Reviewed: 2/14/2008 by Ryan

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There used to be a distinct flavor to all Josh Kelley stuff- Jack Johnson but with some soul influences. Well, Josh Kelley took his old style and seriously rubbed some funk on it. He does have a familiar voice so his music is still highly-recognizable, but musically the first four songs on this record and a lot of the other content on this record are more similar to a modern-era Michael McDonald; not the acoustic-light rock that got Kelley his start in music. To be honest, this style fits him a lot better than his previous work. He used to play with James Brown’s backup band in a side-project when he was a kid and he’s got a ton of soul influences so this music fits him perfectly. Combine that with the verity that nobody is making this type of music anymore (and if they are, they’re not making it as good), and everything fits for Josh Kelley to continue his success as an independent artist. Song-by-song content on this album is outstanding. There’s lots of soul to this album and a ton of heart. There are even some tracks that rock a little bit like “Grey Skies” and “My Kind.” For fans of Kelley’s old style there are a couple of tracks like that; “Lift Me Up” and “Stay Awake.” There’s also an experimental track of sorts (for Kelley that is) check out The Formatesque song that Kelley wrote for his new wife “Hey Katie. ” There are a few songs across this album to skip, but nothing that you can’t listen to from time to time. About 11 of 14 of these songs are solid and even though they all have Kelley’s soul influences; they all have their own sound and there’s a lot of variety to the album. The lyrical content on this record is mostly romantic… and even though it’s a little mushy in spots for me, it’s a great album to listen to with your significant other. Trust me when I say that many babies will be made to this record… This is another great record for Kelley and it will be interesting to see where his music takes him next.

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Cloud Nothings (April 1)
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