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Jadis - Across The Water CD (album) cover





3.51 | 96 ratings

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Special Collaborator
Symphonic Team
4 stars Let your good side shine

Across The Water is Jadis second album appearing two years after the debut and some eight years after the band's formation in the mid 80's. It is the band's debut that more often is regarded as their best, but I find the present album a definite improvement over the debut. Across The Water is more memorable and the vocals in particular (both lead and backing vocals) have improved and take more precedence here. The debut for me had the feeling of an instrumental album where the vocals came across as almost unnecessary. Not so here. The guitar work of Gary Chandler is great and it is here in abundance. Still, I think that there is a better collaboration between the different instruments this time. This is no longer just a guitar album with all the other instruments (as well as the vocals) reduced to a merely supporting role. It is no longer a question of just backing up the guitar, instead there is a nice interplay between the guitars and the other instruments which are keyboards (played by Martin Orford of IQ fame and who also provides some backing vocals and flute), bass (John Jowitt also from IQ and later Arena), drums (Stephen Christey) and the aforementioned Gary Chandler on guitars and lead vocals. There are also two guests on the album providing oboe and backing vocals (Josien Obers) and backing vocals (Ken Bundy).

For me this album was a bit of a "grower". It is not that the music is demanding and thus requires several listens in order to "get" it. This music is actually quite accessible. But at first I found it good but rather anonymous and a bit tame (I ofter have the same feeling with Pendragon). However, after many more listens I began to like this album more and more. The music of Jadis is not at all as "theatrical" and it does not at all have the same "dramatic flair" as that of 70's Genesis, 80's Marillion and Arena, for example. But lack of theatricality should not be mistaken for lack of dynamics and feeling. Jadis produces a brighter and more light-hearted music compared to many classic Prog and Neo-Prog bands. Initially, this made me think this music is a bit flat and a bit tame, but it simply took a bit longer to unlock its innate beauty. While hearing Jadis I'm often reminded of Solstice, Camel and Pendragon. Also Yes and Kansas in their less complex and "flashy" moments.

Everywhere I Turn features nice Yes-like harmony vocals and a very Clive Nolan-like keyboard solo, a great track. The World On Your Side opens with flute over acoustic guitar creating a folky atmosphere and it also has some nice Rick Wakeman-like keyboard work. No Sacrifice is the poppiest of all the songs of the album making it almost Pop Prog. It ends by reciting a line from the first track bringing the album to a nice conclusion.

This is hardly groundbreaking stuff, but it is very good and very well produced music that will certainly please many Prog fans, this reviewer included

SouthSideoftheSky | 4/5 |


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