Neo-progressive, or how the hell you call it, has never been my cup of tea.
So, Jadis, as distinguished ambassadors of this sub-genre.. well, I'm not very keen on them. Like other partners in their style, I think they lack strength, passion and originality. I'm sorry, but Jadis are not IQ (from where Jadis recuperates John Jowitt and Martin Orford).
The Jadis affair reminds me of another neo-progressive (or how the hell you call it) band (or at least that's the label they're filed under), Enchant, who own unquestionable instrumental and sound abilities, but are absolutely incapable of giving their compositions some personality, risk or any other slight sign of creativity.
Gary Chandler, a few years ago, achieved some attention from the fans with honest and worthy records like “More Than Meets The Eye” and “Across The Water”, before following with the more ambitious, and infinitely less interesting, “Somersault” and “Understand”.
“Fanatic” adds no novelties
in relation to the path the band has taken. This is a collection of songs
with impeccable but icy performing, without any surprises or specially
memorable passages. Pure, comfortable "easy listening" for easily
There are some good instrumental moments, like the acoustic intros for "The Great Outside" (which opens the CD) and the beautiful (but very conventional) "What Kind Of Reason", the second half of "I Never Noticed" (one of the best), with a sound close to Rush, or the guitar parts in the title song, the instrumental "Fanatic", although it sounds as a synth-saturated Pink Floyd song.
As to the rest, this is about songs, like "Take These Words", "Who Can Be Sure Of" or "Each & Everyday", with pleasant melodies, but perfectly forgettable, without entity and more than trite ideas.
In some moments, Chandler contributes with some distinguished Andy Latimer / David Gilmour guitar parts; other performances are reduced to do just enough to keep out of trouble, supplying a correct background where they can develop melodies and choruses. I guess that Jowitt and Orford keep their creativity and energy for IQ.
To anyone who wants to enjoy neo-progressive (or how the hell you call it) music, it's much more recommendable to listen to any good IQ (Chandler should be jealous), Arena or Pendragon CD, than to any of Jadis current mediocrities.