Progarchives, the progressive rock ultimate discography




From, the ultimate progressive rock music website

Jolly The Audio Guide to Happiness - Part 1 album cover
3.49 | 79 ratings | 8 reviews | 10% 5 stars

Good, but non-essential

Write a review

Buy JOLLY Music
from partners
Studio Album, released in 2011

Songs / Tracks Listing

- Phase One, Acknowledging Confinement:
1. Guidance One (0:54)
2. Ends Where It Starts (5:24)
3. Joy (4:39)
4. Pretty Darlin' (3:51)
5. The Pattern (6:25)
6. Storytime (3:49)
- Phase Two, Defusing Coping Mechanisms:
7. Guidance Two (1:01)
8. Still a Dream (5:56)
9. Radiae (4:14)
10. Where Everything's Perfect (6:10)
11. Dorothy's Lament (3:36)
12. Intermission (0:07)

Total Time 46:06

Line-up / Musicians

- Anadale / guitar, vocals
- Joe Reilly / keyboards
- Anthony Rondinone / bass
- Louis Abramson / drums, production & mixing

- Amber Tawn / narration

Releases information

Artwork: Louis Abramson

CD Inside Out Music ‎- IOMCD 338 (2011, Germany)

CD Inside Out Music 0544-2 (2011 Germany)

Thanks to rivertree for the addition
and to projeKct for the last updates
Edit this entry

Buy JOLLY The Audio Guide to Happiness - Part 1 Music

JOLLY The Audio Guide to Happiness - Part 1 ratings distribution

(79 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(10%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(46%)
Good, but non-essential (34%)
Collectors/fans only (9%)
Poor. Only for completionists (1%)

JOLLY The Audio Guide to Happiness - Part 1 reviews

Showing all collaborators reviews and last reviews preview | Show all reviews/ratings

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by AtomicCrimsonRush
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
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.

Review by Conor Fynes
4 stars 'The Audio Guide To Happiness (Part I)' - Jolly (7/10)

First coming to my attention as a band seeking to create a therapeutic experience 'through the guise of rock music', progressive rocking New Yorkers Jolly aim to take music where science would not have allowed a few years ago. With the discovery of binaural beats- carefully calibrated stereophonic tones to induce heightened states of well-being- this new phenomenon (that some might dismiss as pseudo-scientific, at best) has generated alot of interest for its potential as an up-and-coming form of therapy. With that in mind, Jolly has created an album with incorporates binaural beats into the music, creating an album that attempts to optimize a listener's mood through lyrics, music, and the fresh technical aspect. A mixture of prog and psychology; quite an exciting prospect, to say the least. But regardless of the binaural beats' effectiveness, Jolly succeeds in delivering a powerful album that ranges from pop, to prog rock and even metal, even if it does get wrapped up in it's own admittedly pretentious concept a bit more than it should at times.

For an album that preaches happiness and well-being, the music here does get remarkably dark at times. In an interview, the band states to some extent that happiness is about coming to terms with all emotions good and bad, and this ideology does seem to be reflected in the music. Although the album starts off emulating a cheap relaxation tape, it's not long before the serenity fades into heavy guitars, energetic drumming and brooding vocals. A brand of progressive rock oriented towards a more commercially accessible approach as landmarked by Porcupine Tree, the songwriting here is based around strong choruses, powerful melodies sung by vocalist Anadale, and tasteful arrangements for the instruments.

Although the music does take a noticeable slip from consistent quality after the 'Guidance Two' interlude, the songs here are generally very well written and powerfully performed. 'Joy' is a track here with much potential to be a single, and the heaviest song 'The Pattern' is a cross between the darker moments of Muse, and a noticeable contribution of math metal, surprisingly enough. After some good listening though, the winner for 'album highlight' must go to the highly melodic softer track 'Storytime', where Anadale's vocals are at their strongest, and the guitars turn down for some more subtle piano work and atmospherics; a beautiful track.

Of course, no album is without some measure of flaws, and while 'The Audio Guide To Happiness's first installment is solid on a musical level, the album's concept does often get in the way of both the music and the album's flow. While it's perfectly understandable that the vocal interludes, introductions, outros, and voice clips are meant to contribute to the apparent therapeutic experience of it all, they result in something that sounds far more annoying than I would imagine they were ever intended to be. It's pretty aggravating to have a musical experience interrupted to listen to condescending voiceovers, but they are thankfully usually over before you're able to reach for the 'skip' button.

An interesting but generally poorly executed concept matched with some great music, and one does get a somewhat mixed impression of this album, but while the band's promise of a 'therapeutic experience' seems to work in reverse in terms of the irritating relaxation tapes, there is music here that does wonders for my mood, regardless of any of those binaural beats.

Review by memowakeman
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars Cool music from this young band!

They are Jolly, a band from the US based in NY which consists in four talented members. In 2009 they released a promising debut album, and now in this 2011 they've returned with "The Audio Guide to Happiness Part 1", a great album that let us know that newer bands have a lot to offer, so one can have the confidence that progressive rock is still kicking assess.

More than 45 minutes divided in twelve tracks is what you will find here. The album opens with a one-minute intro called "Guidance One", which is just a spacey track with female voice that will lead you to "Ends Where it starts". Yeah since the first second you'll feel the power of the music that seconds later will calm down a little bit when vocals appear. The drums work is great during the whole song, the vocals are pretty good and the bass cannot be left behind. There are heavier moments in this track but that does not mean it is metal-oriented.

"Joy" is less heavy than the previous one, actually the rhythm is pretty catchy so one can easily dig it. Here the keyboard work is also essential; my favorite part is after minute three, an instrumental passage where the bass sound is simply awesome and the atmosphere they create blows my mind. "Pretty Darlin'" has some kind of charismatic rhythm, the piano produces a sensual sound which is complemented by rockier guitars. This song is nice, but not really memorable.

Now, "The Pattern" may be my favorite track. I love that bass at the beginning and how the other instruments join seconds later in order to create a powerful sound. Despite in moments it slow down, my mind is still spinning and waiting for the moment it will explode again. Fantastic track! And another thing I like a lot, is that after this powerful song you will find a much calmer track and that actually does not affect your personal rhythm, so that combination is actually good. "Storytime" is the name of that track, its mood shares some kind of reflection and even tranquilization after the previous song.

"Guidance Two" is like the first part, and it marks the intermission of this album, ending with that female voice in a countdown. "Still a Dream" has some kind of tension and a chaotic atmosphere. The second half of the song starts heavier but it slows down later, creating a dreamy atmosphere at the very end.

"Radiae" has a charming beginning with guitars, seconds later the other instruments and vocals appear and maintain that soft sound that can easily catch your attention. The same structure prevails for three minutes until it makes a change and becomes a bit heavier, combining progressive rock elements with some hints of alternative.

"Where everything's perfect" is another heavier track with some kind of growl vocals in the end of the chorus. After two minutes there is an instrumental passage that I like a lot, the keyboard element here produces cool atmospheres, the bass is sometimes addictive, drums always constant and interesting, while the guitars creates nice figures. After four minutes the song calms down, the sound of kids playing appear, and then the song returns as it began but just for a minute, because later it turns darker.

"Dorothy's Lament" has actually that sound of lamentation as the title suggests. The first minute sounds like hidden or a bit far, but later it increases and the sound is next to you. The guitars are the vocals partner almost all the time. This is a soft track which may be actually the last true track of the album. But actually the last song is "Intermission", which is a seven- second speech of the same female voice of the "guidance", saying that this is the end of the first part.

This is a very good album, I am interested in the second part of this Audio Guide to Happiness, but well, I am not really in love with it, I believe they can catch up more my attention in future works, that is why my final grade will be three stars.

Enjoy it!

Review by J-Man
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.


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!

Review by The Crow
3 stars After a very improvable debut album, Jolly came back with a much better second effort!

This Audio Guide to Happiness Part 1, despite having a similar style to their debut album mixing alternative rock with tons of prog elements, jazz, cabaret and metal, is much better written and coherent. Here the message of this band is clear, and the devisable promise of the first record is finally here. The original and excellent vocals of Anadale are better integrated in the music, the songs are catchy and very varied and the rhythmic section just outstanding.

The only complain that I have with this album is a pair of subpar moments. Songs like the cabaret oriented Pretty Darlin are cool, but boring in the long term just like Dorothy's Lament. Nevertheless, the album can be perfectly heard from beginning to end, being this weak moment easily forgettable when we taste prog bombs like Ends Where it Starts, Joy or The Pattern.

Best Tracks: Ends Where it Starts (a song which defines perfectly the style of this band), Joy (original, personal and different), The Pattern (incredible guitars and a great instrumental section, one of the best tracks of the band!) and Still a Dream (I especially like the heavy second section of the song)

Conclusion: The Audio Guide to Happiness Part 1 is not a flawless record, because it contains a pair of subpar tracks and the comparison between the incredible hard parts and the weaker mellower ones is very evident. Nevertheless, it was a very satisfactory improvement since their 2009 debut called Forty-Six Minutes, Twelve Seconds of Music which finally confirmed the great potential that this band always had.

Specially recommended for fans the first albums of Muse, and other acts like Riverside and Porcupine Tree!

My rating: ***

Latest members reviews

3 stars I had high expectations for this album, between the comparisons to Porcupine Tree and the interesting use of binaural tones, but I was ultimately disappointed. The album is certainly not bad, but there is no new ground broken here, even with the special recording techniques. The album is fairly un ... (read more)

Report this review (#425743) | Posted by Earendil | Thursday, March 31, 2011 | Review Permanlink

5 stars I have never felt compelled to write an album review until I heard JOLLY's "The Audio Guide to Happiness." I thought that I couldn't get totally excited about a new album the way I used to in high school, but this changed my whole outlook. This just felt like the first time I heard "Images a ... (read more)

Report this review (#403516) | Posted by stup1ddream | Saturday, February 19, 2011 | Review Permanlink

3 stars Welcome to a spicy meatball. The US band with this rather un-rock like name has returned with their second album. Let's first of all dispense with this Neo-Prog label. This album is not a Neo-Prog album. Period. When that is said, there is some Marillion and RPWL influences though inbetween t ... (read more)

Report this review (#401489) | Posted by toroddfuglesteg | Wednesday, February 16, 2011 | Review Permanlink

Post a review of JOLLY "The Audio Guide to Happiness - Part 1"

You must be a forum member to post a review, please register here if you are not.


As a registered member (register here if not), you can post rating/reviews (& edit later), comments reviews and submit new albums.

You are not logged, please complete authentication before continuing (use forum credentials).

Forum user
Forum password

Copyright Prog Archives, All rights reserved. | Legal Notice | Privacy Policy | Advertise | RSS + syndications

Other sites in the MAC network: — jazz music reviews and archives | — metal music reviews and archives

Donate monthly and keep PA fast-loading and ad-free forever.