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Jolly - The Audio Guide To Happiness Part 1 CD (album) cover

THE AUDIO GUIDE TO HAPPINESS PART 1

Jolly

 

Neo-Prog

3.53 | 50 ratings

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AtomicCrimsonRush
Special Collaborator
Symphonic Team
3 stars A therapeutic auditory experience.

Jolly's latest album is a strange curio by a quartet who is interested in experimenting with the aural sensory brain mechanism. To quote their bio, "Under the guise of rock music, (they have) devised a therapeutic auditory experience scientifically designed to bring the brain to a state of pure happiness. By combining sophisticated arrangements, ambient textures, aggressive dynamics, and infectious melodies with binaural brain wave technology, a new medium is born." Whether or not the band achieve this or not is open to interpretation, however what they have produced here is a very uneven but compelling listen. Parts of the album are ambient and experimental, other parts are heavy metal.

There is a strange intro with a voice telling us we are phasing into the first section; "welcome to the audio guide to happiness dynamic sound treatment. Close your eyes. Breathe. And fly". It reminds me of Ayreon's intros. Then we launch immediately into a cool metal riff, with off beat time sig with Abramson's drums and Rondinone's very strong bass. A great track with effective raspy vocals from Anadale and an infectious melody. Joy, Pretty Darlin', and The Pattern continue the heavy treatment of the material, awesome riffing metal chords and solid vocals with Reilly's keyboards. After this the album settles into a quieter mood, soft slow chords with some rock nuances, but a remarkably different feel. After the next phase is introduced to the aural experience, Radiae brings the mood up with a heavier approach and terrific instrumentation. The wall of sound is dynamic and this track has a wonderful chugging riff in the instrumental break, bringing the mood back to the more aggressive side of Jolly heard earlier. This is when they are at their best. The female voice explains, "You are now experiencing a cerebral shift, it is natural for your body to resist this transition. This will define you a candidate for true happiness."

The next track Where Everything's Perfect has a heavy power riff and great vocals from Anadale. The lyrics are quite intriguing, "leave your fears behind. I have what you want." It is a very heavy riff that propels this and then we are back to experimentation, with children's voices and jazz scatting to a piano. It finally ends with a monstrous crunching riff that sounds dark and ominous like Opeth. Dorothy's Lament follows, a much more ambient piece with a lengthy melancholy interlude, atmospheric and foreboding. "This concludes part one, please insert disk 2", the voice says. Of course at this stage there is no disk 2 so it is fun to think what may be on its way in the future.

Overall, it was a wondrous journey, with some shining moments, though not consistently great for my ears. I would still recommend this for fans of Opeth or Riverside who like heavy metal blended with soft ambience.

AtomicCrimsonRush | 3/5 |

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