Overstuffed semi-orchestral pop/rock roughly in the same stylistic ballpark as Jellyfish (sort of a third-hand rip-off of psych-era Beatles by way of Electric Light Orchestra, in other words), the debut album by Gary Reynolds & the Brides of Obscurity reveals a singer/songwriter with one heck of a record collection, a knack for big arrangements, and access to a lot of interesting musical instruments. The songs themselves, however, aren't particularly interesting; those vibrant arrangements are in the service of fairly weak, derivative melodies and inconsequential lyrics. An even larger problem is Reynolds' unappealing drawl of a voice, which detracts from the otherwise pleasant sound enough that listeners often can't simply enjoy the imaginative instrumentation on its own merits. Even those die-hard pop fans for whom the term "Beatlesque" is the highest possible musical compliment might find Instant Happiness insufficient.
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AllMusic Review by Stewart Mason