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Jadis - Medium Rare  CD (album) cover





3.04 | 30 ratings

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4 stars There has been a rise in recent years of the numbers of albums released by bands which consist of previously unreleased/ outtakes/ demos/ accoustic live/ covers/ b sides and so on, which at best can be below album standard material, and at worst filed in a corner 'for completists only'. I am pleased to say that at 74 mins long, the neatly packaged 'Medium Rare' exceeds the usual standard, and is in many ways an equal to Jadis' other studio albums.

The first 7 tracks comprise 2 EPs. Previously released in 1993, 'Once Upon A Time' was released between their critically acclaimed first two albums, with IQ stalwarts Martin Orford & John Jowitt on Keys & Base respectively, while in 1996, prior to releasing 'Somersault', a 2nd EP entitled 'Once or Twice' was released, which includes a live version of 'Hiding In The Corner' from their debut album. The musicianship is varied and laden with Gary Chandler's trademark riffs and hooks, offering the mellow harmonies of the opener and 'This Changing Face', through the bombast of 'All in One Day', the infectious instrumental 'View From Above' offering in Gary's words: 'More time changes in the first minute than everything else we have ever done combined!'

The remainder of the album does feature a number of demos, acoustic and re-written pieces, the highlight being a live acoustic medley which culminates in the heavy grinding finale to 'Falling Away' from Somersault. The album concludes with a cover of 'Old & Wise', taken from the Alan Parsons Project album 'Eye In The Sky'. OK, Gary Chandler is no Colin Blunstone, but the track sits well enough to be consistant with the tone of the album.

For those who are wondering whether Jadis would be for them, their music is very light and catchy; you find yourself involuntarily tapping your fingers and singing along to their tunes like you would a pop song, but this belies the textured and multi-layered sound which they are able to create through adept song-writing and musicianship. Yes, their music has a very light and upbeat feel to it and could be considered as the 'daylight' to IQs 'night', so although this may not appeal to Radiohead and Opeth fans, they still deserve to be considered as a serious neo-prog band.

In conclusion, although I would perhaps suggest that a new comer to Jadis should start with either their debut album, 'More Than Meets The Eye' or their latest, 'Fanatic', this album is a must for anyone who enjoys their music. It is the reviewers personal oppinion that Jadis fill a very necessary gap within the neo-prog market, and they shouldn't be dismissed as lightweights.

Jared | 4/5 |


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