1. Strange Way
2. I Don’t Know
3. All We Are
4. Away From You
5. Nine ’til Midnight
7. This Perfect Thing
8. Always Alone
9. I Go On
10. This Is Goodbye
Honestly releases their debut album. “Have A Nice Life” consists of 10 alternative pop/rock songs by this young, talented band. The heartfelt lyrics combined with a mature sound that’s filled with great guitar hooks and solid drumming and on top of that one of the best vocals you’ve ever heard.
The album opens with the sturdy Strange Way. The opening lyrics “Who will I be today/when all this is said and done” is a question we can answer by the end of the album. But the first song gives us lots of hope, and most of all, pleasure. The catchy hooks and addictive melody that is brought on with passion gets in your head and leaves you unable to stand still.
I Don’t Know
I Don’t Know has a bit of a punky edge (not to say that it’s punk/rock or anything, just that little edginess some songs have). The songwriting is very strong and the hooks are clever. This song also could go onto radio right away and become a huge hit. It has all the qualities. Great drumming and perfection in the vocals, steady, catchy guitar hooks. They won me over already, and we’re only two songs in.
All We Are
Possibly this song is even better than the previous two. Contending for my favorite song on the album (though basically all 10 songs are), All We Are has great lyrics (“Is this all we are/Just a shooting star/A fading memory/What have I become?/Have I come undone?/Is there something more to me?”). And once again the catchy guitar hooks and solid rhythmic section keep this song standing strong like mature sequoia.
Away From You
This very sweet song could be a major hit on radio all over the world. The ballad-like lyrics and hopeful feel of the song display a maturity that a lot of bands that try to write a song like this will never reach. “Every day the morning comes/And I wish you were around/I am looking backwards again/Where would we be now?” is not something you see in the millions of songs that explore the same theme. And the genuinity and passion Honestly gives their performance makes you believe in this song.
Nine ’til Midnight
Nine ’til Midnight is another gem that too few people have heard. This bittersweet ballad has the perfect guitar melody and drum support, and the passionate vocals come out brilliantly. I’m 5 songs into this album, and still my enthusiasm is growing by the second. I rarely come across a band that convinces me like Honestly does. And Nine ’til Midnight is another work of art.
The lyrically sophisticated Run has a very catchy beat which the drums play an important part in. The chorus is an instant sing along, and the song is A+ material. I can keep saying the same things about the songs, but so far they’re all just so good. And they are just different enough so that the album doesn’t become repetitive but still sounds like one cohesive unit.
This Perfect Thing
This midtempo song takes the pace out of the album a little, but just he right amount. The focus on the vocals is a good choice as they are one of the best feats of this band. The subtle instruments accompanying are well-composed and executed and benefit the song and make it something memorable.
With Always Alone, Honestly picks up the pace again. The catchy, clever guitar hooks carry the song all the way through. High energy and passionate vocals infect this song with enthusiasm and potential. I’d be slightly confused if radio wouldn’t be picking up on this song.
I Go On
I Go On is one of my favorites (heck, one of 10 favorites?). It’s another instant sing along. I always have this in my head for days after I listened to it. And the best thing, it doesn’t get any less exciting to hear it.
This Is Goodbye
“Have A Nice Life” ends with perfection. That’s all I can say about This Is Goodbye. The wonderful (semi-)acoustic ballad has perfect vocals, the perfect guitar melody and perfect mix of emotion and power. A song that is worth of appearing on my compilations.
No other independent release of 2003 is able to top this overwhelming debut by Honestly. And frankly, I can’t really think of much from signed artists that can really meet up with this. Especially in the same genre. The passion and professionalism of this band is of very high standards and “Have A Nice Life” is an album that will always be high in my list of favorite albums. It’s not so much that they are so renewing or do something unheard of. It’s the genuinity and true musicianship combined with the maturity in both music and lyrics that makes this band so good. They do what they love to do and there’s no question about how much they love doing and how much I love them for doing it.