Jadis - Understand - 2000
I believe that all of you already know Jadis, a band created in the 80s but that released their first CD in the 90s, the classic "More than meets the eye". From that moment, Jadis became one of the "best sellers" inside progressive rock, as besides their innate musical quality of the compositions of their leader and guitarist Gary Chandler, we must remember that the line up includes Martín Orford and John Jowitt (IQ). After some line up changes and a certain change in their musical formula -more directed now to a song format rather than to long suites- Jadis returns to the road with "Understand", the bet of the band to begin the new century.
To my taste, Jadis has known how to recycle and to find an intermediate point amongst the Camel exquisite sound of "More than meets the eye" and the "hard-prog" of "Sommersault". The songs are not too long, true, but the notable work of Chandler to the guitars, of Ordford to the keyboards and of Jowitt to the bass endow Understand of a defined personality with the help of good instrumental moments.
The album that lasts 44 minutes (finally somebody returns to the albums of short duration!), has 8 pieces of great instrumental execution, catching choruses and a good dose of commerciality to make everyone happy. The tracks more directly influenced by their first album are the mid-tempo "Is this real?", the direct "Where in the world", "Giraffe Chariot", "Racing Sideways" (splendid Jowitt) and "Counting all the seconds", this last without a doubt the best in the album, with a specially inspired Chandler giving an example of his taste when carrying out solos full with feeling. Of the sounds closer to "Sommersault" we have "Alive inside" and the instrumental "Between here & there", both very energetic pieces that without a doubt will satisfy new fans that come closer to the music of the band. What I don't really understand is the song "Understand" in which Jadis tries to emulate the Marillion of "Marillion.com" with experiments of loops, electronic drums and other similar aberrations (I am sorry, but I am quite of a fundamentalist in these issues). The fact that I don't understand this song doesn't mean that this lacks quality.
Evidently Jadis doesn't offer any surprise for what supposes good news for the unconditional fans of the group, and doesn't discover anything new for its detractors. Maybe some will run away from the album for the label "neoprog", but we must remember that Jadis are pioneers in these styles and it is already known that the one that hits first hits twice. In any event we can assure that Chandler has known how to choose the correct road for future works removing the bad mouth flavor of "Sommersault".