Oct 2013 24

Happiness Project - 9th HeavenHappiness Project
Category: Synthpop
Album: 9th Heaven
Stars: 2
Blurb: This average and undistinguished venture into territory that is bursting with music more refined and more absorbing will evaporate from your consciousness quickly and painlessly.


From synthpop mainstays to all the new and exciting acts that just hit the scene, there is a solid and varied dose of sounds both melancholy and upbeat that capitalize on the vintage rhythms of soft synths and romantic predisposition. Happiness Project has no problem fitting into the genre category for which the act clearly displays appreciation and forte, but the album leaves no visible mark, flowing predictably and gently towards its end, beyond which no trace of either the music or the mood remains.

Upon the first superficial listen, 9th Heaven’s aesthetic appears to be sufficiently influenced by synthpop conventions to please its audience. The opening “Desillusion” is, sadly, the most memorable effort on the entire record and even that song exhausts its potential, endlessly repeating its singular hook. All of the following compositions remain blatantly mediocre and devoid of any melodies or lyrics that would render them worthwhile or memorable. “Poupée Mécanique” has some satisfying lines running through its background, but after a haunting setup settles for an ascetic and downplayed collection of beeps and glitches that consistently fail to gel into a coherent flow, detached further by both vocalists in turns reciting the lyrics in punk-esque angst and soft spoken poetic reverie. There certainly is an atom of prospective success contained deep within the atmosphere of some of the tracks. “Murder” briefly flirts with moods more ominous and vocals less saccharine than those of the other songs on the album and “Something” hints at a potentially more upbeat tempo that Happiness Project might wish to utilize in the future. Alas, none of that transpires on 9th Heaven, explicitly leaving the listener with no choice but to shrug it off after the closing moments of “Balloons and Zeppelin.”

The debut of Happiness Project is a perfect showcase for the technical abilities that help to evoke the right tones of synthpop melancholy without ever manufacturing either a recognizable tone for the band itself or a singular memorable track that could outlive the length of the album. As such, it’s a wasted opportunity and hardly an exciting proposition for the devoted genre fans. The three-quarters-of-an-hour that you might find yourself spending with 9th Heaven are not a chore, but if the French trio is dead set on playing in the same league with other electro-pop heavies, they must rely less on clichés and spend more time polishing the material.
Track list:

  1. Desillusion
  2. Heights
  3. Blue Eyed Boy [B.E.B.]
  4. Flesh and Bones
  5. No Name
  6. Poupée Mécanique
  7. Train of Life
  8. In a Deep Forest
  9. Murder
  10. Something
  11. Balloons and Zeppelin

Happiness Project Website http://www.happinessproject.fr
Happiness Project Facebook http://www.facebook.com/happiproject
Happiness Project Twitter http://www.twitter.com/happinessproject
BOREDOMproduct Website http://www.boredomproduct.online.fr
BOREDOMproduct MySpace https://myspace.com/boredomproduct
BOREDOMproduct Facebook https://www.facebook.com/boredomproduct
BOREDOMproduct SoundCloud https://soundcloud.com/boredomproduct
Purchase at:
Amazon CD
Amazon MP3
Damian Glowinkowski (DamienG)

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