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For the Ride Home (Bonus Track Version)

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Album Review

This repackaged version of Josh Kelley's enjoyable debut, For the Ride Home, includes a bonus disc with two new songs and acoustic versions of the original album's singles. For his part, Kelley can't outrun the sensitive, Southern, and delightfully disheveled singer/songwriter comparisons — the young Mississippian's in line behind John Mayer at Dave Matthews' bar. Like those guys, Kelley counts producer John Alagía (Mayer's Room for Squares, Matthews' Crash) in his corner. He also sports a similar flair for phrasing and first-person confession, especially on Ride Home's "Angeles" and "Travelin." Kelley's sound can tend toward the bland — "I Saw You" is like a highway exit with 14 enticing yet utterly homogenous fast-food offerings. However, dollops of Kelley's homespun charm do keep things interesting enough. Opener and lead single "Amazing" is an upbeat, dizzy number warmed by Kelley's husky, expressive vocals and an organ solo; the song's similarity to Jason Mraz's "Remedy (I Won't Worry)" isn't surprising — Alagía produced that one, too. But that's all right. For the Ride Home ends up succeeding for some of the same reasons Mraz and Mayer did — like them, Kelley has a disheveled friendliness that's hard to resist. He's a top-shelf road-trip conversationalist, looks great in a wrinkled oxford, and settles comfortably somewhere between sensitive and upbeat. His five o'clock shadow never gets to ten, and he's looking at you with amusement over the lip of his coffee mug. While lighthearted material like "Perfect 10" and the single are pleasing enough, it's actually the quieter material that's most promising here. "Amen" is an elegiac number that suggests, well, Seal, while the arrangement for emotional standout "Home to Me" is wisely pared down to Kelley's faintly cracking vocal, an acoustic guitar, and a pretty wash of atmospherics. As for the bonus disc, "Solid Ground" might be the better of the two new songs — its smooth phrasing, classic structure, and tastefully warm instrumentation are reminiscent of underrated Irishmen Del Amitri. The acoustic material is strong too; "Small Town Boy" features a subtly gorgeous supporting harmony, and "Amazing" proves equally addicting in a rollicking front-porch state. Cool piano solo, too.

Customer Reviews

Great Music

This is a great aldum by yet another great musician. he has a john mayer type voice and same kinda music but with a twist to it. all in all this is a great album to buy and is well worth it.

I love Josh Kelly

I love this album his music is the perfect mix of mellow and uplifting. His voice is amazing, and the songs are wonderful! I just LOVE it!

He is AWESOME!!!!!



Born: January 30, 1980 in Augusta, GA

Genre: Rock

Years Active: '00s, '10s

Consider Josh Kelley a fan of Napster. The Georgia native was studying at the University of Mississippi and writing songs on the side when, in a happy Internet accident, some MP3s of his work made their way onto Napster and into the hands of an A&R rep for Hollywood Records. Kelley eventually signed with the label and released his debut album, For the Ride Home, in June 2003. The album slowly built steam, with listeners responding well to Kelley's affable, John Mayer-ish sound. "Amazing" fared well...
Full Bio