ANAND – Joy 4 Ever

ANAND - Joy 4 Ever


Lion Music
Release date: November 2003

Guitars & Bass: A
Percussion: B+
Vocals: Not Applicable
Lyrics: Not Applicable
Recording Quality: B+
Originality: B-
Overall Rating: B

User Review
0/10 (0 votes)

Trivia question: How many heavy rock guitarists were born in Suriname? If you know the answer to this, send me an e-mail, because I just became aware of ONE this week when Anand Mahangoe’s Joy 4 Ever CD arrived in my mailbox. Born in 1974 in Suriname, South America, Anand moved with his parents to Holland as a wee little lad and picked up the guitar at the age of 12. Based on his playing throughout this CD, he must not have put the damn thing down very often! Admittedly influenced by Joe Satriani, Anand delivers his 2nd all-instrumental CD in Joy 4 Ever, a follow up to his 1st effort entitled A Man’s Mind. At first look, Anand doesn’t seem to fit the Hard Rock/Heavy Metal mold. Dressed in nondescript long sleeve t-shirts and baseball caps, Anand certainly appears non-pretentious, if not a bit dorky, in the pictures shown within the liner notes of this CD…kind of along the lines of Rick Nielsen from Cheap Trick. Once you listen to the first few tracks, however, you’ll quickly realize that you can’t judge a book by its cover, because Anand rocks!

Anand indeed has many similarities to Satriani…which, in my book, is a good thing because somehow over the years I’ve managed to continually lug my obstinate arse into a local record store to pick up absolutely everything Satriani has ever released. To best describe Anand’s style and sound, start with Satriani’s Surfing with the Alien album and add more thunderous and pronounced percussion along with mood-enhanced keyboards. The overall sound is pretty clean throughout and well produced. Although clearly intended to showcase Anand’s talents, a conscious effort has been made in Joy 4 Ever to ensure no instrument is left behind. As a result, every instrument is properly emphasized and apparent, and none are just along for the ride. Headbanger music this is not, however, about half of the tracks are indeed aggressive and move along at a pretty impressive clip. Anand uses light to moderate distortion to spice up his guitar sound, but it’s the percussion and driving bass guitar that legitimately nudge this album into the Heavy Metal genre (beware: at high volumes, the “thump” of the bass drum will test the druthers of even the best subwoofer systems!). Anand’s guitar performance contains its share of innovative and blistering solos, but like Satriani, his playing is filled with thoughtful passages whereby his instrument creates colorful images and narrates the story of each song without lyrics.

This CD attempts to tap into the testosterone-laden male psyche, providing a plausible account of an intimate relationship from its genesis as a mere thought inclination to eventual pair-up with one’s perfect soul mate. There are 11 tracks on the CD, entitled as follows, that flow together and play out a story (at least in my mind) along these lines: The male ponders his desire for a worthy female subject in “A Dirty Mind Is A…”, however, his lustful motivations are transparent and demonstrate his “true” intentions (eeeeek!…watch out ladies!). Evidently, a friend fixes him up with a friend, resulting in the ensuing “Blind Date”. The date seems to go well, and I envision that maybe they have each had a little too much to drink. Hand in hand, the new couple fosters a newfound romance as they engage in an “Intimate Dance”. The dance causes the cauldron to boil the libido of both participants…so why wait for the customary 3rd date rule? How about we “Meet Mr. Long” right now! Evidently Mr. Long is pleasing enough to the female subject’s eye…or maybe the male’s dancing was just that good…either way, one thing quickly leads to another, and it’s time to “Get Laid”. Man, this guy works quickly!!! Next, the endorphins (or the alcohol, or maybe both) get the best of these lust birds causing them to fall asleep. The male evidently awakens to see the female sleeping next to him in his flannel shirt, reeking of implied long-term commitment. His enjoyable “one night stand” suddenly has him “Disillusioned” by the prospects of getting trapped into an unwanted monogamous relationship. The immediate solution is to have his transient mate “Get Out”. She evidently complies amid a mass of hostility and hurt feelings. The relieved male is relegated to pondering what is “Next”, and somewhat quickly finds his “Next” mate. This mate is different, however, as he comes to realize that she indeed is “The One”, and the mutual commitment results in “…Joy 4 Ever”! Whew!!! What a story (remember, of course, there are no lyrics on this CD – so you’ll just have to take my word for it)! Can I have a dry towel now?

Based on the story above, Anand does a great job of gearing up or notching down the attitude and feel of the songs to allow the listener to empathize with the male’s emotional state as each event transpires. Although nothing on Joy 4 Ever is musically commensurate to The Nutcracker Suite, this album does a similar job of pairing up the music to the story to create a fairly evident picture and mood. For example, “Get Out” emits hostility and anger, while “Get Laid” has seductive interludes coupled with passages that build up energy and tension (a la Ravel’s Bolero), and “…Joy 4 Ever” is effervescent with positive vibe.

Overall, listening to this CD is a completely enjoyable experience. If you like Joe Satriani or Eric Johnson, Anand’s effort here will be a remarkably pleasant surprise. This is the type of CD that can be used for multiple occasions and will allow a true Heavy Metal fan to “make good” in very diverse settings. Played at volumes low enough to subdue the powerful percussion and bass guitar rhythms, this album could surely “pass” for a New Age work (albeit with an aggressive edge) that could fit in easily as lively dinner or social gathering background music. Played at high decibel levels (like the good Lord intended it to be played!), this album will whet and satisfy the appetite any Heavy Metal fan that appreciates creative guitar and all-instrumental work. Anand took a long time to write and record Joy 4 Ever, and its polished finish shows. Like me, I think you’ll be pleased if you ignore the deceptively plain cover on the book of Anand personally, take the plunge and open to page 1, and give this CD a listen. You’ll quickly come to realize Joy 4 Ever indeed is a keeper!


  • Dan Skiba

    Dan is a former partner at Metal Express Radio, and also served as a reviewer, photographer and interviewer on occasions. Based out of Indianapolis, USA he was first turned on to Hard Rock music in the mid-1970s when he purchased Deep Purple's Machine Head as his first album. He was immediately enthralled with the powerful guitar sound and pronounced drumbeat, and had to get more! His collection quickly expanded to include as many of Heavy Rock bands of the time that he could get his hands on, such as Ted Nugent, Judas Priest, and Black Sabbath, to name just a few.

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