Rating:
8.4
Jolly - The Audio Guide To Happiness (Part 1)
28 February 2011


01. Guidance One
02. Ends Where It Starts
03. Joy
04. Pretty Darlin'
05. The Pattern
06. Storytime
07. Guidance Two
08. Still A Dream
09. Radiae
10. Where Everything's Perfect
11. Dorothy's Lament
12. Intermission


The main reason why I'll never be able to bear death and black metal and their thousands of variants (sorry 90% of Metal Storm users) is that the first thing I look for in music, more important than musicianship, lyrics, and production, is happiness. Music must be a safe rest from the various worries of the "external world", something that makes me feel good, so I simply can't understand the enjoyment in listening to genres that have the opposite effect on me. But maybe it's just me.

I haven't written this just for the masochistic pleasure of being hated by every extreme metaller around here, I'll try to explain why I was so excited and curious when I first heard of Jolly and their Audio Guide To Happiness, thanks to Ivor's illuminating staff pick. My interest grew bigger and bigger when I read that the album had been scientifically designed with a university professor, using binaural waves and frequencies that are slightly offset in each ear to make the listener feel happy. I have to say that this pretty nerdish thing seemed to me more like a clever marketing move, but I decided to give this audio guide a try, and I didn't regret it.

The album is divided by two interludes, "Guidance One" and "Guidance Two", inspired by some psychological sessions or yoga treatments, characterized by a female voice which leads to the two phases of this work, "acknowledging confinement" and "defusing coping mechanisms". Of the same type of these two is "Intermission", the album closer, that invites you to complete the experience with The Audio Guide To Happiness: Part 2.

Returning to a more concrete side of this album, the music suddenly proves to be really interesting. Thinking about how to describe Jolly's sound for this review, I had a pretty hard time, this band being inspired by many others but similar to no one. In fact, despite admitting clear Tool, Type O Negative, Radiohead, but also Depeche Mode, Pink Floyd, and Muse influences, Jolly doesn't lose an ounce of its originality. This band plays an addicting mix of progressive metal, melodic rock, and keyboard-driven pop melodies, and doesn't fall in the cliché of the "already heard".

The album provides a satisfying range of songs, for a respectable duration of three-quarters of an hour. It's hard to say if the band is actually reaching its goal of making the listener happy because these are totally subjective feelings - like every feeling, by the way - but the only thing I know is that during songs like "Joy" and "The Pattern", I couldn't help but smile.

Oh, Jolly loves you.

Performance: 9
Songwriting: 8
Originality: 9
Production: 9


Band profile: Jolly
Album: The Audio Guide To Happiness (Part 1)


 


written by R Lewis | 23.04.2013


Guest review disclaimer:
This is a guest review, which means it does not necessarily represent the point of view of the MS Staff.



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