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JOLLY

Neo-Prog • United States


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Jolly biography
JOLLY is a US based band based in New York City, consisting of Anadale (guitars, vocals), Anthony Rondione (bass, vocals), Joe Reilly (keyboards, samples) and Louis Abramson (drums). Their musical influences are widespread, with as diverse acts as Depeche Mode, Mike Patton and Tool as examples. The band's stated vision is to create music that intrigues avid listeners without compromising accessibility.

In September 2008 their first effort was released, a demo EP named The Revolutionary Cult. A few month later they hooked up with Galileo Records and Progrock Records, who issued their debut album Forty-Six Minutes, Twelve Seconds of Music in late July 2009.

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Audio Guide to HappinessAudio Guide to Happiness
Inside Out U.S. 2013
Audio CD$9.55
$7.15 (used)
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Jolly Christmas 2004 by Sinatra, Frank 077774832922 USD $4.48 Buy It Now 1h 39m
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TINY HILL & ORCHESTRA Jingle Bells VOCALION 78-5248 For He's A Jolly Good Fellow USD $15.00 Buy It Now 2h 33m
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4h 2m
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JOLLY discography


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JOLLY top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.11 | 18 ratings
Forty Six Minutes, Twelve Seconds of Music
2009
3.55 | 56 ratings
The Audio Guide To Happiness Part 1
2011
3.89 | 95 ratings
The Audio Guide To Happiness Part 2
2013

JOLLY Live Albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

JOLLY Videos (DVD, Blu-ray, VHS etc)

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JOLLY Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 The Audio Guide To Happiness Part 2 by JOLLY album cover Studio Album, 2013
3.89 | 95 ratings

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The Audio Guide To Happiness Part 2
Jolly Neo-Prog

Review by J-Man
Prog Reviewer

4 stars New York's Jolly is a band that really popped on my radar after hearing 2011's The Audio Guide to Happiness, Part One, as their unique mix of progressive rock, alternative, metal, and pop sensibility immediately set them apart from other progressive acts I was hearing at the time. Two years later, and Jolly have left me with a similar impression on their second (and final) installment in the series; Jolly conjures a one-of-a-kind atmosphere with their music, and they also posses the compositional and technical finesse to make the unique ambiance of their sound damn enjoyable to listen to. If anyone was unsure how this band was able to capture touring spots with acts like Riverside and Flying Colors, The Audio Guide to Happiness, Part Two provides a sufficient explanation why - a masterful expression of mood, atmosphere, and attention to detail, this is one of 2013's early musical highlights in my mind.

The style of music heard on The Audio Guide to Happiness, Part Two could best be described as progressive metal, although Jolly hardly resembles 'traditional' prog metal acts like Dream Theater or Fates Warning. The focus is largely geared towards moody and intense atmospheres not too dissimilar from recent Porcupine Tree or Marillion efforts, albeit with more deviations into alternative pop, metal, and even electronic territory. Jolly aren't afraid to incorporate some damn heavy guitar grooves into their music (there are even some harsh vocals in the dynamic "Firewall"!), as well as plenty of catchy melodies and strong hooks; while Jolly are perhaps not the most traditionally 'prog' band out there, their complex, eclectic, and highly atmospheric sound should grab the attention of most progressive metal listeners.

Fortunately, Jolly's excellence transcends their stylistic originality, as their talent as composers and performers is apparent throughout all of The Audio Guide to Happiness, Part Two. Although their playing styles are not particularly flashy, Jolly demonstrates their talents through detailed compositions and professional musicianship across the board - things like the atmospheric build in "Despite the Shell" (and the magnificent guitar solo that soon follows!) or the strong dynamic variation in "Firewall" are the mark of some truly skilled composers. What perhaps amazes me most about Jolly is that, even though their music is quite complex when closely analyzed, it manages to come across as accessible and almost pop-like to the more casual listener; the result is an album that is enjoyable on first listen, but still reveals new details with each new listening session.

As enthusiastic as I was (and still am) about The Audio Guide to Happiness, Part One, this installment is more mature and refined than its already superb predecessor. If compelling atmospheres, tasteful musicianship, and strong melodies are what you crave from progressive metal, Jolly should be on your radar - this album proves that they are part of the genre's upper echelon without a doubt!

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 The Audio Guide To Happiness Part 2 by JOLLY album cover Studio Album, 2013
3.89 | 95 ratings

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The Audio Guide To Happiness Part 2
Jolly Neo-Prog

Review by Second Life Syndrome
Prog Reviewer

5 stars Jolly has finally released their Audio Guide to Happiness, Part 2. They've returned with more interesting prog rock with a metal twist, and they layer all of this with a special sense of humor that could only be compared to that of Haken. It's a strange sense of humor that takes the music very seriously, but also likes a bit of quirk thrown into the mix.

Jolly truly does love their fans, and they have shown this by releasing another fantastic album. This album is full of rockers and ballads alike, and they even throw in some bagpipes and synth for good measure (hence, the neo-prog tag). In other words, Jolly expanded their boundaries a bit here. Part 1 is an amazing prog rock album indeed, but Part 2 is even better.

Jolly has certainly matured in such aspects as restrain and eclecticism, and this album is the better for it. Part 1 contained more of a technical edge to the metal parts; and, while this is still present, I feel that Jolly knows that technicality does not always make a good song. They have matured to the point of being experienced musicians now, and I can't wait to see where they take us next.

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 The Audio Guide To Happiness Part 2 by JOLLY album cover Studio Album, 2013
3.89 | 95 ratings

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The Audio Guide To Happiness Part 2
Jolly Neo-Prog

Review by GorillaMunch

5 stars Jolly is back!

Jolly is one of the most interesting acts out there today. Blending prog and metal, along with special recording techniques to create sound that pleases the ears, they are a band to watch in the future. They have taken the concept record to a different level the the Audio Guide to Happiness parts 1 and 2. The claim is that the way the sound waves move and other composition elements can act as therapy, bringing one to a greater state of happiness. Now while you can dispute this claim, listening to the album does make you happy because the music is so good. So if you are looking for a hard rocking, progressive music experience, look no furth

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 The Audio Guide To Happiness Part 1 by JOLLY album cover Studio Album, 2011
3.55 | 56 ratings

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The Audio Guide To Happiness Part 1
Jolly Neo-Prog

Review by Earendil

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 uniform and static, hovering between straightforward and progressive rock. The euphoric experience the album is meant to induce is over-hyped to say the least. If he uses the imagination, the listener can notice the special feel of the sound, but what it actually does can't really be said.

Here's a description of the album from Amazon: "JOLLY is the summation of four minds set out to revolutionize the art of sound. Under the guise of rock music, JOLLY has 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. JOLLY's latest release, The Audio Guide to Happiness (Part 1), is a self-reflective sonic journey scientifically tailored to guide the listener through the strata of his/her own emotional make-up. The listener is subjected to musical mood dynamics and key lyrical triggers while the brain is fed corresponding binaural tones. These tones are carefully and deliberately interwoven within the music to support all appropriate peaks and valleys throughout the experience."

I feel that it's no different than when someone says how dark chocolate is a miracle food because it fights heart disease, is loaded with antioxidants, and gives you longer life. Such claims may have some small basis, but to claim that the difference is actually noticeable is dubious.

However, much of this could definitely be mental that some people are feeling. After such buildup about the relaxing sound waves, one's mind will exaggerate what it feels and create a stronger reaction in the listener. Whatever the band's opinion is, I don't think heavy rock is generally listened to for deep relaxation.

Overall, the album is by no means essential, and its primary appeal is with the creative recording processes used.

Rating: 5/10

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 The Audio Guide To Happiness Part 1 by JOLLY album cover Studio Album, 2011
3.55 | 56 ratings

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The Audio Guide To Happiness Part 1
Jolly Neo-Prog

Review by 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!

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 The Audio Guide To Happiness Part 1 by JOLLY album cover Studio Album, 2011
3.55 | 56 ratings

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The Audio Guide To Happiness Part 1
Jolly Neo-Prog

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!

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 The Audio Guide To Happiness Part 1 by JOLLY album cover Studio Album, 2011
3.55 | 56 ratings

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The Audio Guide To Happiness Part 1
Jolly Neo-Prog

Review by stup1ddream

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 and Words" or "Lateralus." Also, since I acquired the album in a not so honorable way, I figured I would at least tell world how I feel. JOLLY if you are reading this, I promise I will buy the album when it comes out in March.

I am a fan of progressive rock, but to me, this goes even beyond the "prog" genre. It is technically progressive, but only in it's complexity, and sophisticated delivery. Despite these facts, it's surprisingly accessible and catchy as hell. I am literally floored that there is still something new you can do with rock music, all while appearing effortless. It's sort of like a cross between Dream Theater, Mr. Bungle, and Alice in Chains, with some Tool and Soundgarden mixed in. Although, when reading that description, I feel like I am leaving out so much.

Not only is the music undeniable, but the JOLLY mystique is rather intriguing. They claim that they are some sort of "scientists" and they've put all kinds of crazy frequencies into the music that are supposed to make the listener experience happiness. I am a skeptic at heart, so my first thought is that it's a gimmick. But somehow the complexity and almost alien intelligence of this music actually makes this seem plausible. If they could compose music like this, then it's not such a far stretch that their claims have some truth to them. Not to mention I was quite happy after my first listen, but then again I don't know if that's a bad thing considering this is the first of 2 parts. Uh oh, am I going to die now?

JOLLY's press release says the following... "With this combination of musical, lyrical, and binaural stimulation, we are able to directly target the brain's limbic and autonomic nervous systems, almost completely bypassing the frontal lobe. In short, the emotions are directly addressed without being filtered through the brain's logic center. The listener can therefore see his/her emotion in its true form without being forced to oversimplify it with labels and categorizations. The result is an emotionally limber and self-aware brain completely accepting of its unique place in the world."

They also go on to mention that they did tests on 5000 people and a whole other bunch of crazy stuff. I'm still not quite sure what I think of all this.

Anyway, the album starts with a strange voice welcoming us into "The Audio Guide to Happiness" easing our nerves and lowering our heart rate, and then BOOM the most bad ass gritty riff just smashes you in the face! The track I am referring to is called "Ends Where it Starts." This song almost has elements of Korn in that it grooves with such a gritty bass bottom end. I also hear some "Filter" here.

This leads into what is probably one of the more commercial tracks on the album; "Joy." But don't be fooled by this track, it still throws you for a loop during the bridge all while keeping the elegance intact. Anthony Rondinone plays one of the coolest bass breakdowns I have ever heard. To me this song is just a masterpiece.

Next comes what is, to me, the biggest deviation from the JOLLY sound (although JOLLY's sound seems to be rooted in universality). The track I am referring to is called "Pretty Darlin'" This song sounds like it was recorded in a saloon somewhere between the Lithosphere and HELL. It's got a sexy dirty groove, and one of the catchiest hooks I have ever heard. Anadale's solo on this also gives me chills. Not only is he an incredible vocalist, but I keep forgetting that this guy is playing the guitar too! His touch is somewhere between David Gilmore and John Petrucci.

The next track is called "The Pattern." This one sounds like Muse and Dream theater mixed with Meshuggah. Only one word can describe this track- EPIC. I'm just going to leave it at that.

This leads right into "Storytime" which brings tears to my eyes. I'm not really sure what it is about, but the quazi-funky syncopated groove played by Louis Abramson counteracted by Joe Reilly's straight up classy somber piano chords just shoots chills down my spine. Rondinone's bass line just keeps your head bopping the whole time, while Anadale's vocal lines ingrain a sadness in your chest. A real dichotomy of feelings in this track.

Back comes the creepy voice, although this time she becomes even more creepy. Her voice sounds a little colder than she did in the beginning, and BEWARE of very unpleasant sound that closes this track. As offensive as this is, it really adds to the whole mood of the Audio Guide experience.

This shrieking distortion from hell flows right into the industrial seemingly NIN influenced "Still a Dream." I hear elements of "Marilyn Manson" Antichrist Superstar era in this track. Virtually every instrument is distorted climaxing into yet another bad ass JOLLY riff and then dropping to beautiful ambiance. Rondinone and Anadale play off of eachother in an almost jazz/skat duet, while Abramson plays a funky groove and Reilly drones on a beautiful pad. Such an interesting arrangement here. Just when you think it's over, the song then brings you to an even calmer, more ambiant techno-esque lounge beat outro.

What follows is "Radiae." This is a very lush and epic track all the way through. Joe Reilly's keyboards really shine on this track. The entire song ignites a feeling of inspiration and otherwordliness until the end when JOLLY decides to just ROCK! This riff sound like Black Sabbath while Anadale's Layne Staley inspired vocals bring the us back to the eerie acoustic picked out chords that started the track. This time the creepy voice returns, only now within a song rather than on her own independent track. "You are now experiencing a cerebral shift" she says. At this point, I fell on the floor and started hemorrhaging.. ...just kidding.

The next song is one of the craziest songs I have ever heard - "Where Everything's Perfect." I get hints of 311 in this track in the happy (jolly) vocal line. This song makes you want to just skip around and snap your fingers, but watch out, there are some very sadistic undertones. As the song progresses it gets darker and more demented until all of a sudden it goes into another one of Anadale's patented jazz skat vocal lines. I never thought I would like something like this but man oh man, it really works. Next, JOLLY takes us into a Dream Theater/Rush breakdown with some crazy drum and bass work by Abramson and Rondinone. After coming back to the happy vocal line for a bit, we are then faced with a riff that sounds like mutant clowns shooting barrels of puppies with flame throwers. This song just leaves you excited with confusion - a true original.

The final track of the Audio Guide to Happiness is, to me, one of the darkest tracks I've ever heard. I guess that's interesting that the darkest song I ever heard is being performed by a band named JOLLY. This track, entitled "Dorothy's Lament" sounds like a crowd of weeping widows being lead on a death march. The song brings us out with a beautiful ambiance that sounds almost like the music score to "Donnie Darko." This track is as powerful as it gets. It really shook me to my core.

And then, almost interrupting, the voice returns, cold and dry. "This concludes part 1, please insert disc 2." WHERE IS PART 2??? I WANT IT!!!!

JOLLY is a one of a kind. Their first album "Forty Six Minutes, Twelve Seconds of Music" proved their potential, but in the "Audio Guide to Happiness" JOLLY sets themselves apart from the bunch. This album is a true, honest to god musical masterpiece.

Prediction: JOLLY is going to be one of the most revered progressive rock bands of our time.

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 The Audio Guide To Happiness Part 1 by JOLLY album cover Studio Album, 2011
3.55 | 56 ratings

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The Audio Guide To Happiness Part 1
Jolly Neo-Prog

Review by Conor Fynes
Prog Reviewer

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.

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 The Audio Guide To Happiness Part 1 by JOLLY album cover Studio Album, 2011
3.55 | 56 ratings

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The Audio Guide To Happiness Part 1
Jolly Neo-Prog

Review by toroddfuglesteg

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 the rest of the influences............ which are.......... Well, there is no denying that Jolly is jolly well aware of the presence of Dream Theater. Add Tool to the mix too and we get a pretty hard sound. An ounce of AOR & Pink Floyd too can be added too. This album is pretty hard throughout. This due to a Phil Spector like wall of sound being employed. The sound is also contemporary and feels like 2010. I would say this album has the typical post rock sound.

While the sound is great in my view, the album is sadly lacking on the quality of the melodies and the songs. There is no songs here I really love and makes me sit up and listen intently. This album is nice, yes. It massages my ears, but not my brain. But this is an overall good album and that's it. I am sure this band has a future so I will keep this band on my must-follow list.

3 stars

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 The Audio Guide To Happiness Part 1 by JOLLY album cover Studio Album, 2011
3.55 | 56 ratings

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The Audio Guide To Happiness Part 1
Jolly Neo-Prog

Review by 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.

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Thanks to windhawk for the artist addition.

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