Jadis – Photoplay
Periods of three years between the release of two studio albums seem to have become a natural thing for Jadis, in my opinion one of UK’s best progressive rock bands. Indeed, there was a period of 3 years between “Understand” (2000) and “Fanatic” (2003) and the fans of the band had to wait another three years before the release of today’s “Photoplay”. But as always, it was worth the long wait, because studio album # 6 is probably the best album in Jadis’ admirable career.
What occupied Chandler this time around, was his discovery of Pro Tools, which allowed him to record his music on more than 64 tracks as well as cutting and editing it. For more than a year he played (read: worked) with the toys (read: new gear) on new songs at home and for the first time he also took on the role of sound engineer. Chandler reveals: “Finally I had the opportunity to create something that I was absolutely satisfied with. With Pro Tools you actually have infinite possibilities. So I could work in a completely different way than on earlier albums when you’ve got to record all of the music within a period of four weeks.
This time I could approach my songs not only from the guitarist’s point of view, but also from that of the keyboardist and this produced a whole lot of new ideas.” Don’t think this way of working led to a less inspired record, because “Photoplay” is top-notch Jadis once again: a rich mix of smooth melodies and progressive rock that will certainly touch the fans and more. “Photoplay” counts 11 new songs with a total playing time of just over 60 minutes, so quantity and quality are guaranteed. For those who are not yet familiar with the band’s body of work, their kind of neo-prog can easily be compared with that of more famous bands such as IQ (Jowitt and Orford play in both bands!), Marillion and Pendragon. But next to them, I also hear influences from other giants such as Asia, Camel, Kansas and even Pink Floyd (just listen to Chandler’s guitar playing in the opening song if you want proof for that) and Yes.
In short: if you have been a fan of Jadis, you can’t do wrong purchasing the new album. And if you haven’t been a fan so far: it’s about time you become one.