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Jadis - Photoplay CD (album) cover




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4 stars 4,5 stars really, this album is mutch better than the past few albums. After "More than meets the eye", I was always a little disapointed with other albums, but not this time. At first, Gary`s singing is slight different, the melodies are not so linear as before, there is more passion. The arangements and guitar playing are great as usual, alternating a harder edge on some riffs with very melodicclean guitar parts. My favourites are :"What Goes Around", "I Hear Your Voice", "Make Me Move", while the others are also great, but less powerfull. At the end I can say that this is a very pleasant album that I really enjoy from beginning till the end, that was not the case with "Understand" and "Fanatic"
Report this review (#70569)
Posted Sunday, February 26, 2006 | Review Permalink
4 stars Perhaps not as immediate as previous albums and certainly with a more muscular feel throughout, Photoplay continues the same themes and sound that have characterised all of their work to date. Gary Chandler again contributes great vocals and a clean and crisp lead guitar to the mix. The sound is excellent too - very vibrant and clear.

I've always thought that Jadis sit on the cusp between prog and AOR - no bad thing in my book as I like both - offering highly melodic and concise songs that don't overstay their welcome. So, for fans another great hour; for everyone else a good starting point to dip their toe in !

Report this review (#71096)
Posted Saturday, March 4, 2006 | Review Permalink
2 stars It's been ages since I last heard Jadis, so maybe I am misremembering, but they used to sound Britihs, no? This sounds distinctly American, with a tonality and harmonic sense that hearkens more to Styx and American Classic Rock than any UK music, Prog or otherwise.

In this age when so many modern Prog bands seem to have completely abandoned harmonic and melodic intricacy for simple melodies and modalities, it's particularly sad to see someone with the pedigree of Martin Orford, who has a supreme ear for melody and arrangement in IQ, contributing to this kind of pseudo-Prog where only the instrumental bits get to be even remotely challenging. I blame Spock's Beard - the most overrated Prog act of the last fifteen years.

Report this review (#71423)
Posted Wednesday, March 8, 2006 | Review Permalink
4 stars Great album!!! This is the album I can't stop playing since I purchased it. This is the band I enjoy listening to when I just want to have fun and not in the mood of listening extremely complex music, which I love, but sometimes I just need a rest, charge batteries with Jadis and then enjoy listening VDGG or Gentle Giant. These guys are so great musicians that just hearing them performing is an absolute pleasure. I think Photoplay must be their greatest effort, since MTMTE, but it is hard for me since every single album is an improvement. Their last is the greatest. This is an easy listen, but don't get me wrong. Yes, you won't find super complex melodies here, but you will be surprised on how enjoyable each song can be and how they manage to create easy to listen songs, but keeping elaborated Prog arrangements. Jadis' characteristics are still here. A master guitar performance from Gary, and also his vocals have improved a lot!! Jowitt and Orford monsters!! and Christey, a classical drummer great job also!! There are some great rockers with Jadis' distinctive style 1. Theme's Light,3. Asleep In My Hands (5:39),5. I Hear Your Voice (6:15),6. Make Me Move (5:32).,,9. Please Open Your Eyes (5:35),10. All You've Ever Known (6:42) the strongest songs, rocking with intermediate rythm changes. Each song surprises you with permanent switches, but in this album Chandler's guitar plays a superior role compared with all previous albums. This band must be the only Prog band my wife tolerates!!! Please, do yourself a favour and grab this album. You won't regret it
Report this review (#73206)
Posted Sunday, March 26, 2006 | Review Permalink
5 stars This is a superb album, arguably the best ever from Jadis. It is as if all the experience of the band in making good albums has crystallised into one brilliant collection of tracks.It is prog, but prog that is song-based and tightly controlled with nothing wasted. Gary Chandler's voice and guitar playing are as good as ever, and there are some wonderful keyboard sounds. There are some slow tracks and some up-tempo tracks, all at about 5-7 minutes. They include exquisitely beautiful moments in 'Make Me Move' and 'All You've Ever Known' and heavier moments in other places. None of the pieces stand out because the standard is so consistently high. I'm a long-time Jadis fan, but the lads have surpassed themselves here. It's a long time since I've listened to an album so often with so much pleasure. Song-based prog at its very best.
Report this review (#75483)
Posted Wednesday, April 19, 2006 | Review Permalink
Tarcisio Moura
3 stars Oh man, I really tried to see, or hear, what other reviewers say about this CD. But I really think it's their most different and in some extension, one of their less pleasant offerings too. Only Somersault seemed to be that odd, but in that case you could excuse it by stating that the loss of former IQ members Orford and Jowitt at the time might had had some influence. Now it's not the case.

Please, don't get me wrong, it is still a good CD, but not quite one should expect from what Jadis have been playing since the 80's. It's quite heavier and not so inspired. Contrary to some other reviewer, I did enjoy Understand and Fanatic very much and I don't place them too far away from the first two (yes, I agree those are the best, but only by a slight margin). I really hope that Gary Chandler goes back to a more melodic and prog sound for the next release. But for Photoplay itself its still a valid release with its fair number of good songs. But this is not a good starting point if you wnat to know this great band.

Uneven, but good anyway.

Report this review (#96323)
Posted Tuesday, October 31, 2006 | Review Permalink
4 stars What can be said about their 6th studio album ? Hard to say, it's an average Jadis album to me which means very good, since their average standard is very high to me. But what I mean is that it is compared with their other albums not really outstanding with lots of special songs. To me Jadis is always worthwhile, you can (almost) wake me up in the middle of the night to treat me with any Jadis album.

But like I said, it's hard to say what is so special about this album because it's filled with "4 star tracks". All excellent, but I make an exception for two tracks: There's a light and Asleep in my hands is real firework for Jadis standard. Two very energetic tracks I appreciate very much. I can suggest to Jadis: write more of this spectacular stuff in the future, I believe this could be a very good direction for Jadis to go to. Of course the usual ballad like songs are always nice for the variation and the instrumental songs are always very good but the two mentioned songs show a new Jadis style that appeals to me very much. I wonder how other Jadis fans feel about this. But all the other tracks are typical Jadis as we are used to for many years and that's ok with me too.

So the final reviewscore is not too hard for me, this is obvious 4 starmaterial.

Report this review (#151682)
Posted Monday, November 19, 2007 | Review Permalink
2 stars Nothing has really changed in the « Jadis » mood and sound over the years. A bit harder maybe for this album ("What Goes Around"). But that's not a big deal.

The band had said it all with their first studio album. What followed was a series of average works. Some good guitar breaks, below standard vocals and soft keys.

This album is one of their weakest IMO. Hard to find a good song. Mellowish vocals all the way through, pop-oriented "melodies", very little (to none) interesting instrumental passages. "Make Me Move" is the archetype here. Truly boring and insipid.

One of the very few songs to escape this feeling is probably "Asleep In My Hands". Even if it is far from being a masterpiece, at least it rocks alright and it is pleasantly melodic. Good keys solo from Martin.

While listening to "Photoplay" (the album), one has the impression to listen to the same song repeatedly. "Make Me Move" (strange title for such a song!) being the nadir of this album.

Songs are shorter, standardized, formatted. Chorus / verse structure, almost non-existing solo, weak melodies. No emotion. No.

Well, let's stop with this one. It is not my cup of tea at all. To make up your mind, just listen to the almost metal-like song "Need To Breathe" (I bet ya!). What a humoristic title.Did they do it on purpose ?

The same prog-pop mood prevails on this album. Almost no surprise to be expected. One needs to await for the last song to get the first (and last of course) great guitar moment of this album. But one good song is far too little to make an interesting album.

Two stars.

Report this review (#153052)
Posted Wednesday, November 28, 2007 | Review Permalink
Honorary Collaborator
3 stars Jadis has long been regarded in the same vein like Pallas, Pendragon and IQ or tycally called as neo progressive rock. But "Photoplay" sounds differently with other albums of the band for one thing: it has quite significant modern rock touch. I don't know what made them doing it- it's probably to make it more commercial or they just want to create something different. But, I think if this is intended as to be commercial, it's not up to that territory yet because this album is still in the middle. The music is actually quite accessible for those who have been exposed to neo progressive but it's still a bit hard to digest for pop music fans.

The opening track "Theme's Light" (4:57) flows nicely in upbeat tempo with nice guitar work by Gary Chandler. The interlude part when the music changes into break mode, the insertion of acoustic guitar work is stunning and it helps enrich the overall textures of the music. The next track "What Goes Around" (5:18) relies heavily on riffs and it has excellent structure, melody, harmony as well as nice breaks where the music changes in different style enriched by the guitar riffs. Martin Orford (of IQ) plays his keyboard nicely. "Asleep In My Hands" (5:39) moves the music in faster tempo with drums as opening part, using keyboard and guitar as main rhythm section. Even though the melody is not that catchy but the overall composition sounds good in straight rocker style.

"Standing Still" (5:21) is more important to observe as the band really want to go in commercial doorway as the opening part is a loop with repetitive guitar riffs that makes it a catchy opening. As the music flows Orford plays his keyboard at background. I think if the band really wants to go commercial, this track should be positioned at the opening of the album because of its pop nature. "I Hear Your Voice" (6:15) intro is a keyboard work that reminds me to IQ followed nicely by drum beats and inventive bass guitar work by John Jowitt (of IQ). It seems now that bass guitar is used as main rhythm section augmented by drums backed by keyboard. As the music flows, the bass guitar provides tight lines and it's great to enjoy. I think, for me personally, thing that makes this song attractive is the dynamic bass lines by Jowitt.

"Make Me Move" (5:32) starts with a guitar riffs like typical hard rock music but as the music moves it's basically a soft track in medium tempo. The guitar interlude in the middle of the track reminds me to Chandler's solo in previous albums. "Who I Am" (6:07) uses bass guitar in dynamic way but this time it's augmented by the guitar rhythm section. Until this track I start to get bored with the music because it sounds all songs are alike. There is no significant change in the next track "Need To Breathe" (4:50) besides it has different style at opening and the music then moves as straight rocker with nice guitar riffs. "Please Open Your Eyes" (5:35) brings similar style of music followed with "All You've Ever Known" (6:42). "Photoplay" (4:19) is basically a guitar exploration by Gary Chandler backed by soft keyboard work. Nothing special.

Overall, for Jadis fans this album is different from their previous albums. The songwriting and performance are both good and the production (sonic quality) is excellent. Keep on proggin' ..!

Peace on earth and mercy mild - GW

Report this review (#181405)
Posted Monday, September 1, 2008 | Review Permalink
Mellotron Storm
3 stars This is JADIS' most recent album from 2006 and once again we get Chandler, Jowitt, Christey and Orford delivering the goods.This album isn't much different from the previous ones as we get those commercial flavoured tunes but with maybe more of an edge this time.

"There's A Light" is maybe more guitar dominated than what we'd here in the past. I like the tone of the guitar at times. Jowitt's bass is prominant after 3 1/2 minutes in this vocal led track. "What Goes Around" is sort of experimental to start then it kicks in with a fairly heavy sound (at least for them).That changes when the vocals arrive although these contrasts continue. I like this one. Some processed vocals too early on. A nice heavy sound 2 1/2 minutes in then it settles back. "Asleep In My Hands" opens with drums then a full sound kicks in quickly including organ.Vocals join in too.I like the organ after 2 1/2 minutes as Orford solos. Great sound.The guitar comes to the fore before 4 minutes. "Standing Still" opens with a good beat as bass and guitar come and go. Vocals join in. It changes before 1 1/2 minutes as the guitar starts to solo then the vocals return.This is better although the contrasts will continue.

"I Hear Your Voice" opens in an almost spacey manner as the drums come in and build. Bass and guitar also join in and build. Vocals before a minute. I like the prominant bass in this one and the background synths before it kicks in. "Make Me Move" is a little more aggressive with the guitar as bass and drums support.Vocals join in quickly. A calm before a minute then it turns heavy again as contrasts continue. "Who Am I" is a feel good track with vocals and prominant bass. Background synths come in and the guitar plays this repetitive melody. A guitar solo after 4 minutes. Good song. "Need To Breathe" opens with strummed guitar and spacey sounds then it kicks in heavily. It settles back when the vocals arrive. I like the heavier sections. "Please Open Your Eyes" kicks in quickly and vocals join in. Not a big fan of this one. "All You've Ever Known" is the longest track at 6 1/2 minutes. Strummed guitar and spacey sounds to start. Reserved vocals join in. I keep waiting for it to kick in and it finally does before 3 1/2 minutes. Much better but it does change back to the previous melody. "Photoplay" is spacey to start as the guitar comes in soloing slowly.This continues for the rest of the song.By far the best track and it's quite emotional as well.

A good album that I actually enjoy a little more than some of their earlier records.

Report this review (#399462)
Posted Saturday, February 12, 2011 | Review Permalink
Symphonic Team
1 stars Asleep in my ears

I think it is fair to say that Jadis peaked early on. They started out well with their debut album More Than Meets The Eye in 1992. The 1994 follow-up Across The Water remains my personal Jadis favourite and this album constituted the very peak of their career in my view. The band's third album Somersault followed in 1997, and while many seem to find it disappointing, it is in my opinion a pretty decent album. The problem is that it was already getting rather formulaic. Understand followed in 2000 and while another good album in its own right, it was again based on the very same well-established Jadis formula. The band thus began creating lesser and lesser copies of their own past works. Fanatic sounded like a watered down version of Understand and now Photoplay sounds like a watered down version of Fanatic!

This time the songs are all short and sound rather uninspired. They have even almost completely lost their progressive edge. My recommendation is to investigate the discography of Jadis in chronological order, starting with the two first albums (More Than Meets The Eye and Across The Water) which remains the best ones. Those who like the band will then have a good reason to go further, but only the most devoted fans would have reason to go as far as the present album (which is Jadis last album to date). Needless to add, Photoplay is Jadis least good album of all.

Only for hard core fans this one!

Report this review (#610682)
Posted Monday, January 16, 2012 | Review Permalink
3 stars While fellow neo-prog peers were steadily gaining in popularity, thanks to Internet (in fact, it could be argued that the best works by artists such as IQ and others came 20 years into their existence), Jadis seems to have hit a snag, with subsequent albums becoming less popular. They were never that complex anyway, but kept on simplifying their sound. Photoplay is an eleven-song collection of tight rock tunes, having more to do with classic rock than neo-prog (some of them pretty heavy by Jadis standards). They aren't as simple as they seem at first glance, often moving between softer and heavier sections, and there are some good riffs and melodies, so common criticism of this album is a bit unwarranted. However, the overall impression is still of inconsistency (a song may have a good opening riff... and nothing else of note) and low energy. I think the problem is that what set Jadis apart from other neo-prog bands was their exciting instrumental firepower and guitar solos. Without that, they're just average among dozens of bands like that.

Report this review (#1555320)
Posted Sunday, April 24, 2016 | Review Permalink

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