“Photoplay” is the sixth studio album of the British Neo-prog band Jadis. Everybody will remember that great first album of the band “More than meets the eye” (1992) . Last year there was even a reissue of that album. After a promising second album “Across the water” (1994) the band released some mediocre albums (“Somersault” and “Understand”) and a live CD (“As daylight fades”). In 2003 the band found the right path again with the album “Fanatic”. Personally I love to see this band performing live. To see Gary Chandler performing those long soaring guitar solo's of that first album is a feast.
Gary Chandler - Guitar, Vocals; Stephen
Christey - Drums; John Jowitt - Bass; Martin
Orford - Keyboards;
Guest: Steve Thorne - Backing Vocals
Jadis is one of the pioneers of the Neo Progressive School. Most fans of progressive rock will have one or more CD's from these guys. The most of you will know that brilliant first recording “More than meets the eye”. The strong point was that the long guitar solo's who Gary played at the gigs also found their way to that album. The second album “Across the water” was also very strong. Gary Chandler is the master of the the beautiful melodic guitar licks. In the albums that followed the songs were often shorter and not so catchy. With “Fanatic” (2003) I found that the band was walking on the right path again. I don't say that Jadis have made bad studio albums, on every album there were some melodic beauties.
What about this new studio album. First of all you can hear that Gary Chandler took his time to record and mix this album. The use of Pro Tools resulted in multi layered music. I'm wondering how Jadis will perform those tracks on their European tour that will take place in April and May. The strong opener “There's a light” is a typical Jadis composition with great guitar riffs and catchy vocal harmonies . “What goes around” has it's moments but develops more into a mainstream rocking track. “Asleep in my hands” is an upbeat rocking track with a nice vocal refrain and a nice organ solo of Martin Orford. “Standing still” is one of the more interesting tracks. It's pop influenced parts are combined with great melodic guitar work and beautiful vocal harmonies. A good varied composition. In “I hear your voice” the swinging bass of John Jowitt has an important role. “Make me move” has beautiful delicate details and nice keystrings. The female voice and the steel guitar sound in the end gives this track something extra. “Who I am” is a nice ballad which in the end gets more power and has a nice guitar solo. “Need to breathe” is one of the more rocky tracks on this album with aggressive guitar riffs. “Please open your eyes” is more a typical Jadis composition with great melodies and vocal harmonies. “All you've ever known” has a opening with acoustic guitar and delicate keyboards. Rhythmic and melodic guitar parts while the tension of the music is slowly building up. The album closes with the instrumental “Photoplay”. You hear all kinds of sounds and samples while the electric guitar is playing on top of all these layers.
“Photoplay” the sixth studio album of Jadis is a good Neo-Prog album. If you like melodic music with beautiful vocal harmonies you will like this album. But the more progressive fans will say “I have heard it all before and where is the progression?” Well I think you are into the Jadis sound or not. Gary Chandler is making the music he likes. He is always searching for the beautiful melodies and vocal harmonies. Not a groundbreaking album but “Photoplay” has it's moments and is a very enjoyable album. The only thing that you will notice is that the influence of Martin Orfords keyboards not as important as it was before. His parts are not in the front of the mix anymore. Maybe therefore I was not surprised to hear that Martin has left the band and is focusing on his solo work and his duties for IQ.