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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

3.55 | 51 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

J-Man
Prog Reviewer
4 stars The Audio Guide to Awesomeness

It's not every day that you hear a progressive metal album based on the idea of binaural therapy and meditation - which is exactly what New York-based quartet Jolly have done here. The Audio Guide to Happiness Part 1, the band's second full-length and first for the prestigious Inside Out label, is an album that intends on bringing the listener to a meditative state - whether or not that's actually the case depends on the listener. All I know is that Jolly have created a concept album that is masterfully crafted and seldom disappoints. The Audio Guide to Happiness Part 1 is filled with excellent compositions, tight musicianship, a stellar production, and a unique take on the progressive metal genre; there's not much more I can ask for! My only complaint (and it's a fairly small one) is that the spoken word portions can sometimes interrupt the flow of the songs, but it's a minute and "nitpicky" issue when one considers the general quality of the material here.

The Audio Guide to Happiness Part 1 is a pretty unique album - I can't say I've ever heard anything like it. Aside from the obvious influences from binaural therapy, the music is a unique blend of pop-prog, metal, and atmospheric rock. The album title is misleading, to say the least - this music is not particularly "happy", and often very dark and atmospheric. I'm often reminded of bands like Porcupine Tree, Opeth (minus the death growls), Happiness Is the Road-era Marillion, and even tads of Pain of Salvation. This may not sound revolutionary on the surface, but it actually does come across as one-of-a-kind and extremely eclectic. All of the songs are well-composed and memorable; there's no weak link here. A few of my favorites are "Joy", "Storytime", "Radiae" (the vocals in this one are breathtaking), and "Where Everything's Perfect".

The "technical" aspect of The Audio Guide to Happiness Part 1 is excellent and a major asset to the release. The musicianship is excellent across the board, and the production is equally terrific. Heavy riffs blend seamlessly with atmospheric and hypnotic sections thanks to the stellar production.

Conclusion:

I didn't really know what to expect when diving into Jolly's latest effort, but multiple repeated listens have left me highly impressed by The Audio Guide to Happiness Part 1. I really didn't "get it" the first two times around; this is a case where giving it a few more shots really pays off. I'd recommend any fan of atmospheric progressive rock/metal to give this top-notch effort a spin. My rating here will be a big 4 stars (maybe even 4.5 stars in time). If you like concept albums and plenty of killer material to go along with them, I have no doubt that this album will blow you away!

J-Man | 4/5 |

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