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Jadis: Understand

"Jadis are a four piece rock band hailing from the south of England. They became a full-time gigging outfit when they supported IQ on their 'Nomzamo' tour of Britain and Europe. They then supported Marillion on their 'Clutching at Straws' UK tour, culminating in three nights at London's Hammersmith Odeon", (taken from the Jadis website)

This album is a great snapshot of the kind of music which defined the Neo Prog era of the 80s, 90s, and early 00s. This was one of the pre-eminent bands of that era and their style is clear, with soaring guitar solos and ever present synths and keys.

"Where in the World" opens with cool keys and guitars before Gary Chandler's vocals start. One of the best songs on the album, full of that great melody and power. Very similar in style to the 'Menel era' IQ they were supporting on their first tour. The band has had a close relationship with IQ over the years, (with some of the band members playing in both bands), and it showed up on this first track. But they still sound unique and this is a great opener, getting things started in the right direction.

Lead guitar, bass and drums open "Is This Real?", before Gary joins in with his unique voice. The guitars play a more prominent role along with those striking drums on this track. The heavy synths and keys from this era are ever present and provide that distinctive touch, before a launching guitar solo soars high. High pitched vocals supported by high pitched keys.

"Alive Inside" opens with cool keys and solo soaring guitar with accompanying bass riffs. The drums are solid as Gary opens the story, "A time of disillusion, can anybody see?" Then a harder charge as the band picks up momentum, before chilling out to cool keys and softer drums.

Heavy keys and guitars open the instrumental song "Between Here & There". The drums that are supporting are…well…smashing. However it's the guitar chords and keys which dominate this instrumental extravaganza.

Excellent keys and synths open "Racing Sideways", before the drums and guitar join in. Gary sings, "A curious sound, I am uneasy. It's from nowhere I could have known". Another of the best songs on the album. The bass plays a more prominent role on this track. Excellent guitar all around.

"Understand", the title track, really is the best song on the album. Martin's keys and synths are simply mind blowing. The guitars and bass which join in later are great, but it's the keys and Gary's vocals which make this such a powerful song. The drums provide great support.

"Giraffe Chariot" opens with guitar chords and Gary singing, "Do you know where's the furthest point you'd ever be, would ever wish to go?" The keys and drums support well. The launching guitar solos are excellent.

"Counting All the Seconds" is a big, over seven minute closer. Simply wonderful keys and guitars, and the vocals are the best on the album. The heavy bass helps provide some lower sounds as you are surrounded by those high notes on keys and vocals. Good lyrics and Gary brings them to you powerfully, supported by those soaring guitar solos. A great representation of this era of music.

Track Listing
1. Where in the World (5:53)
2. Is This Real? (6:54)
3. Alive Inside (4:51)
4. Between Here and There (2:56)
5. Racing Sideways (4:43)
6. Understand (6:43)
7. Giraffe Chariot (5:09)
8. Counting all the Seconds (7:00)

Added: April 15th 2011
Reviewer: Mark Johnson
Related Link: Band Website
Hits: 2380
Language: english

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