Jolly
The Audio Guide to Happiness (Part 2)


4.0
excellent

Review

by LunaticSoul USER (2 Reviews)
April 1st, 2013 | 20 replies


Release Date: 03/06/2013 | Tracklist

Review Summary: ..If binaural tones will not make you happier, you will most probably be by listening to the "Audio Guide": the second part of the two-disc concept feels more inspired, more experimental and definitely an improvement.

Premise: do you already know Jolly's work? If you are a newcomer, Jolly is a NYC band that decided, after a good debut with “Forty-Six Minutes, Twelve Seconds of Music“, to enter the magical wonderland of concept albums by releasing "The Audio Guide to Happiness". Concepts are in no way a novelty and neither is the purpose of the two-disc guide, which is to make people happier through music. What it is really original, though, is the concept at the base of the project itself: feeling happier not through music, but through science APPLIED to music, in the form of “binaural tones”.

To those who need a brief explanation, binaural tones are frequencies that, when heard through headphones, make the brain automatically perceive a third "phantom tone", resulting in an altered state of consciousness.. Or so the Jolly fellows say in the booklet. While all this might feel, at a first glance, scientifically questionable - although Jolly did actually partner with a scientific university to research on the subject - there is one thing we can definitely say: if binaural tones will not make you happier, you will most probably be by listening to the "Audio Guide".

Jolly wants you to listen through the whole four parts of the concept, a statement the band makes really clear by reminding you to do so in the first song, “Guidance Three”, and by inserting a free download voucher for the first part of the guide in every copy of part two. Considering you will also find the lyrics of the first cd in the booklet of the latter, you cannot but appreciate what these guys have done, practically giving you two albums at the price of one.

However, this is not a review of the whole project, therefore let us summarize in a sentence what part 1 was: an appealing experience, yet not without flaws, as the album had evident quality peaks that were not achieved in the whole LP. While the band could not evenly spread the awesomeness even in their new effort, the second part of the Audio Guide feels more inspired, more experimental and therefore an improvement.

The first part, or better, the third phase of the guide contains the only two hard-hitting songs of the disc: “Firewell” and the single “Dust Nation Bleak”. The technical prowess of the band is mostly shown in these two songs, characterized by the groovy basslines of Anthony Rondinone and the precise yet heavy drumming of Louis Abramson. The rumbling chorus of the latter, with a crushing double-bass pattern accompanying the vocal harmonies of main vocalist Anadale and Rondinone, is the perfect example of a band that knows how to hit harder and sound melodic in the process. Jolly explored various musical styles in their two previous efforts, continuing here their mixing of progressive rock with a whole range of other influences, such as a reggae breakdown contained in the heavy ballad “You Against the World” and electronic drum patterns in the bouncy “Aqualand and the Seven Suns”, although avoiding to sound as gimmicky as other bands that like to apply similar “pastiche” techniques in their songs.

Phase four, while being less direct than number three, is probably the true gem of the whole project: from the queer “Lucky”, with its high-spirited lyrics and joyful synths, through the soothing atmospheres of “As Heard on Tape” – containing a touching bagpipe solo - to the intricate structure of “Despite the Shell”, with its neo-prog influenced sound and a crescendo that brings to an energetic and powerful ending. This phase, named “achieving happiness”, fulfills its object with the last song, “The Grand Utopia”. It is hard to resist to the giggles of the background voices, accompanied by the cheerful keyboard sounds, a reminescence of phase two. Assuring that everyone will feel “happiness” by listening through the release is by no means the truth: the feelings that music makes us feel are indeed subjective; as far as I am concerned, the triumphing atmospheres of the ending, right after the soothing voice’s “breathe”, conquer me anytime. “Achieving happiness”, mission completed.


user ratings (27)
Chart.
3.9
excellent

Comments:Add a Comment 
YankeeDudel
April 1st 2013


9313 Comments


this sounds kinda intrasante

i will check and get to u

Digging: Land Of Kush - Against The Day

LunaticSoul
April 1st 2013


214 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

It is! I didn't know if it was possible to add some links at the end of the review, so I do it here:

"Dust Nation Bleak"
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3QXglHsykQo

I used to "work" as a reviewer for an Italian fanzine, but it's my first one in English, there might be some mistakes. I also tend to write way too much when I'm into a disc, this might be the case but the three paragraphs of introduction were 70% necessary.

Digging: Rishloo - Living as Ghosts with Buildings as Teeth

OmairSh
April 1st 2013


11924 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Hey it's cool you reviewed this, teh binaural recording technique was odd at first but I'm more used to it now, the instruments sound great though. Also the vocalist has a pretty good voice but he wastes way too much time with that rough Kurt Cobain styled vocal, it's annoying

OmairSh
April 1st 2013


11924 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Woops confused this for the 1st one :P, have yet to hear this

NeoSpaz
April 1st 2013


4519 Comments


nice job considering english isn't your usual language of choice.

drewcordova
April 7th 2013


705 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

This album took me by surprise. Good review too, but I think a little bit of brevity in the first few paragraphs might have made it stronger on the whole. Either way, pos.

Arron
April 30th 2013


58 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Good review. awesome band, glad someone put up a review, as I was thinking about it!

CosmicPie
May 4th 2013


1078 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Awesome band.

OmairSh
May 26th 2013


11924 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

DUST NAAAAAAAAATIOOOOOOOO OOOWWAAAAAOOOOOO OWWWAAAAAOOOOON

SitarHero
October 27th 2013


4745 Comments


Yo Omair, where'd you find the band's music? I've only heard their singles.

D41V30N
November 19th 2013


949 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

AOTY fo sho

OmairSh
December 30th 2013


11924 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Firewells grown on me quite a bit.

SitarHero
December 30th 2013


4745 Comments


About time you came around.

OmairSh
December 30th 2013


11924 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Dam.

PistolPete
April 13th 2014


3650 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Just getting around to listening to Part 1, it's phenomenal I can only imagine how awesome this will be. Nice review, pos

OmairSh
October 14th 2014


11924 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Some great guitar and keyboard tones on this motha

Firewell brings the crushing riffs

SitarHero
October 14th 2014


4745 Comments


Can't you see me can't you see me in the FIREWELLL!

PistolPete
October 15th 2014


3650 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I've given every album by these guys a 4, even the first one is stellar. Hoping these guys enter the studio soon to crank out another one.

SitarHero
October 15th 2014


4745 Comments


Their studio was destroyed in hurricane Sandy. However, thanks to Prognation at Sea they're finally getting some recognition.

OmairSh
October 15th 2014


11924 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Yeah that was really unfortunate. Mike likes this band and appeared on their latest video



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