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Review – Honestly "Have A Nice Life" (2003) July 9, 2008

Posted by rawkfistmusic in 2003, Honestly.

Written by Andrew “Gravity”

True talent in music is as questioned as anything else these days, and the talent of the bands at the top come into question more than anything. Do bands like Hinder deserve the fame they get despite making generic party rock and dirty lyrics? Of course it’s questionable because it’s all a matter of opinion. However, to anyone who knows anything, it should be obvious the bands with true talent deserve true fame. Sold out amphitheaters and rabid fangirls belong to the bands who really, truly, can rock out loud.

Honestly was born in Atlanta, Georgia in the early part of the decade and immediately crafted their debut opus Have A Nice Life. One would not have to search far to discover the origin of the band’s name, the group named themselves for the lyrics they write. “Strange Way” brings this charming disc a thrilling beginning, starting with a simple few notes on a guitar, and evolving into an infectious pop rocker. The melodious voice of frontman Rob Attaway leads the chorus on a rampage with his beautifully toned voice that neither detracts from the instrumental value of the rest of the band, or drags it down with overproduced or overpowering vocals. Instead he blends perfectly into the song that the band itself creates. “I Don’t Know” sounds completely different from the get-go but succeeds due to many of the same reasons. “I don’t know what to do, tripped up over you, I’m helpless here why can’t you read my mind,” Attaway sings, bringing forth lyrics that anyone can relate to, but simply putting them in ways other bands would fail at. “I Don’t Know” also earns it keep as a stunningly catchy ditty with staying power in the early goings of the album.

“All We Are” just as those before it, brings an entirely new sound to the table and starts off lower and slower than the first two. Just as the others, however, the song drags you in with passionate lyrics and beautiful melodies. “Away From You” while not quite in the elite company of the previously mentioned holds it’s own as a touching half-ballad and serves as proper transition to the enchanting “Nine ‘Til Midnight” a song that will clutch to your beating heart and refuse to let go as it squirms around and forces tears out of your eyes. It’s the perfect love song for those who shared a first kiss outside in the darkness of night, with nothing but the streetlights to show them the way. The image I just painted is doubly so portrayed in “Nine ‘Til Midnight” which wouldn’t be out of place on mainstream radio, but is so much more attractive than all the other so called ballads.

Honestly returns to the pop-punk winner’s circle with “Run” a track that starts with catchy riffs only to cut into an almost-vocal solo. Once the rest of the band joins back in, the chorus drills into your ears with “Are you desperate, for anything?” before the band creates a fantastic beat that’ll have everyone’s heads in a 10 mile radius banging. “This Perfect Thing” then brings the tone of the album back down and gives “Nine ‘Til Midnight” a run for it’s money with another sound ballad that once again, everyone can relate to. “This perfect thing called love can leave you ripped up, broken-hearted, waiting for the sky to fall,” croons Attaway as only a simple drum beat serves as the primary backdrop. The song is very stripped-down which actually makes it better, proving that overproduction isn’t always necessary.

“Always Alone” and “I Go On” bring back the lush and engaging sounds of the first two tracks before Honestly brings this one to it’s conclusion with “This Is Good-Bye.” Again simplicity wins the battle here, as only one or two instruments join Attaway as he sings the lyrics that bring with them a double entendre of sorts. While of course, the song has it’s primary meaning, the words “This is good-bye” also tell us this album is coming to it’s conclusion. A sad truth indeed.

Honestly knows it’s strengths are in the passionate voice of Rob Attaway and does nothing to hide that fact. While each of the remainder of the band certainly know how to play and are competent in doing so, it is Attaway’s lyrical beauty and vocal presence that make this band about a million steps higher than all the others on the ladder of rock music. The maddening thing is, Attaway has since left the band and Honestly has disbanded. It’s a shame the band never reached the pinnacle of greatness they were destined to have, but instead failed to recieve near enough national attention in their years together. Still, what they did accomplish will never be forgotten, because while Have A Nice Life may clock in at a meager ten tracks, those ten are the most complete I’ve heard in far too long. Honestly’s magical debut will never be forgotten by myself, and hopefully will be found by many in the coming years. It is this kind of talented music that truly deserves to be on top of the world.

10 out of 10

Download This – “Strange Way”



1. Tyler - April 4, 2012

I LOVE HONESTLY!!! and Justin Land is actually my cousin.. =)

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