"The Audio Guide to Happiness (Part 1)'
InsideOut Music (0544-2)
By Michael Popke
Plenty of albums sound better with headphones, but “The Audio Guide to Happiness (Part 1)” demands them.
In fact, the tray insert for the second CD from New York City’s Jolly states “Headphones Required.” That’s because binaural tones are embedded throughout this album, the combination of slightly offset frequencies played simultaneously, thereby altering the brain’s natural frequency. Scientific research suggests that such tones can enrich feelings of relaxation, focus, creativity and happiness when experienced via headphones.
Sound almost too good to be true?
Well, give “The Audio Guide to Happiness (Part 1)” a spin and see if you’re not in a better mood. Maybe science has something to do with it, but this would be a solid alternative-prog album even without the binaural tones. Think Porcupine Tree, Pain of Salvation and even Muse. There’s not a lot of variety from song to song, but if Jolly’s binaural boasts are true, each listener will experience “The Audio Guide to Happiness” differently while still attaining the same result.