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Jadis - Across The Water CD (album) cover





3.52 | 97 ratings

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4 stars 'Across The Water' is the 2nd studio release by Jadis; a difficult project to undertake after the critical success of their debut. Perhaps part of it's success was down to the fact that much of the material had been under construction as far back as 1989, and Gary Chandler and co had had plenty of time to rehearse and furnish the material with technical detail. It is quite clear by way of contrast, that no such luxury was afforded on this 2nd release, as both Jowitt and Orford had been busy on 'IQ' duty in the meantime with both the release of 'Ever' and the follow up 'Forever Live'.

The result for many, is that it leaves 'Across The Water' as the poorer relation, as the instrumental detail is stripped down by comparison, the tracks are simpler, more uniform and more melodic in tone and ultimately it is argued, has considerably less to interest the serious progressive rock listener. While all that may be true, I personally think this to be an excellent album, in many ways almost an equal of the debut, and often one I'd naturally reach for when needing a Jadis 'fix'.

From the opening, melancholy cry 'I can hear you across the water....but your touch is miles away' in the intro of 'Touch', through to the repetition of the same at the finale of the album closer 'No Sacrifice', for me, there is not a poor track in between, and plenty of infectious hooks to tap your fingers to, as the band members give ample evidence throughout of how well they gel together. The pace is consistently upbeat through the two opening tracks, 'Touch' and 'In Isolation', with some excellent guitar work from Chandler, a format which is replicated in 'The World Is On Your Side'.

The album contains two ballads, 'Daylight Fades' and the shorter 'A Life Is All You Need'. Despite it's length, the latter seems to offer more in terms of breadth and variety, with haunting use of Cor Anglais and Oboe, while Martin Orford takes to his flute, to create a sound which would please fans of the debut album. Of the remaining tracks, 'Everywhere I Turn' is a slightly quicker tempo, commercial track with synthesiser solo, accompanied by standard power chords. For me however, the album closer, 'No Sacrifice' is possibly my favourite Jadis track, as it stretches Chandler's voice, containing great vocal harmonies between Martin Orford, Josien Obers and Ken Bundy, and as a possible consequence, is one which has always proved popular at live shows.

Jared | 4/5 |


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