CD Reviews

Jadis - 'See Right Through You' Hot

Added by Central Electronic Brain     January 08, 2013    
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Another contender for my albums of the year.

It’s been six years since the release of the band’s last album, ‘Photoplay’, a gap that had me concerned that they’d called it a day. Had that been the case it would have been a crying shame because their form of neo-Prog has always been of the very highest order thanks to the leadership and skills of main man Gary Chandler.

For the uninitiated, Chandler writes the songs, sings lead vocals and plays wonderful guitar; to all intents and purposes Jadis is Gary Chandler and with this their seventh studio album he delivers the goods once again. I find some neo-Prog bands to be a little too melancholy and slow but Jadis know how to deliver quality output with both feeling, tempo and most importantly songs that put a big smile on your face and get your foot tapping.

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‘You Wonder Why’ opens with typically delightful guitar and a wash of keyboards that develops into a fine groove before Chandler’s emotive vocals join in. The vocal arrangement is wonderful as the tune carries a fine melody, hook and chorus, a theme that runs throughout the eight songs. The use of acoustic guitar and a programmed keyboard them adds a lovely depth to the musical accompaniment. Needless to say, Steve Christey’s drumming is a delight to behold. ‘Try My Behaviour’ has a heavier riff than one might expect from this band and I’m not convinced by the staccato delivery of the verses but the middle section when the pace slows and the vocals take on a more familiar style; rather pleasant as are the ‘less is more’ guitar solos that simply ooze class and melody. ‘What If I Could Be There’ starts softly before a simple but gritty, chugging riff kicks in and the song develops into something really rather special with a sensational melody and even better chorus allied to excellent solos from both guitar and keyboards. ‘More Than Ever’ is a mid-paced number driven along by a fine piano refrain, in common with the other songs on the album the vocal arrangement is terrific although the jury is definitely out over the rather eclectic synth solo. ‘All is Not Equal’ features acoustic guitar and follows a similar pattern to a number of the songs on the album by having a gentle opening and then an injection of tempo and energy later.

‘Nowhere Near the Truth’ is an instrumental based around a repeated guitar pattern that brings Mike Oldfield’s ‘Tubular Bells’ to mind. It builds slowly only to explode near the end; I imagine a documentary maker using it over visuals of gentle seascapes initially and ending with surfers. ‘Learning Curve’ is another delightful song with plenty of nuances all wrapped up in a song that feels straightforward. The title track rounds things out in fine fashion with Chandler’s guitar work being particularly notable.

It’s been too long but it’s been worth the wait; another contender for my albums of the year.

Gary Marshall

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