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ACROSS THE WATER

Jadis

Neo-Prog


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loserboy
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars "I can hear you across the water" cries Gary Chandler on the very opening breaths of the album and for me this is a truth! JADIS have been on the leading edge of the progressive rock revival for some time now and have built up a loyal following of fans. JADIS' second release follows in the footsteps of their standout debut album building on many of the finer points. Although the curse of the "follow-up" albums does oft hold true, it is clearly not the case here. "Across The Water" further explores Chandler's musical ideas articulated by his own lyrics and vocals. Musically Chandler's guitar solos are amongst the best I have heard and the combination with the high talents of Martin Orford (Keys), John Jowitt (bass) and Stephen Christey (drums & percussison) how can you miss. JADIS play a unique style influenced somewhere in the IQ, RUSH camp of prog. Songs are very well written and offer great musical expressions and atmospheres which will simply amaze.

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Send comments to loserboy (BETA) | Report this review (#3999)
Posted Wednesday, March 17, 2004 | Review Permalink
Easy Livin
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Honorary Collaborator / Retired Admin
3 stars A vocal melody is all you need

Jadis make good, if sometimes rather lightweight neo-prog. For me, their main weakness is in the vocals, which sound similar to Nick Barratt of Pendragon having an off day. While the band are instrumentally strong, the vocal weakness is not helped by the poor vocal melodies on some of the tracks here.

With that admittedly rather negative introduction out of the way, let me focus on the positives. The guitar sound is what might be termed typical neo-prog, with echoes of Steve Rothery of Marillion and John Mitchell of Arena, but always firmly rooted in that of Steve Hackett. With two of the band members also being involved in IQ, there are inevitably similarities with the music of that band, with Both IQ and Jadis recognising Genesis as a major influence.

In terms of the music, the tracks are all around 6 or 7 minutes long. "Daylight fades" is probably the most appealing track, being a slightly slower ballad with some excellent guitar. "A life is all you need" has a similar structure, the track being complemented by some fine oboe work backed by piano.

Elsewhere, "Everywhere I turn" is more upbeat and commercial, with a decent Clive Nolan like synth solo, while "Touch" is a mid-paced number, with some pleasant symphonic keyboards to close.

It is hard to get excited about this album. It is enjoyable and well performed, but lacks anything which might distinguish it from the myriad of similar neo-prog albums. The potential is there, but with "Across the water", it has yet to be fulfilled.

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Send comments to Easy Livin (BETA) | Report this review (#51802)
Posted Friday, October 14, 2005 | Review Permalink
Jared
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Honorary Collaborator
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.

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Send comments to Jared (BETA) | Report this review (#62191)
Posted Thursday, December 29, 2005 | Review Permalink
progrules
PROG REVIEWER
5 stars So far I am familiair with all songs Jadis has ever produced, usually composed by Gary Chandler himself and I have to say I have not yet heard a real poor one. Of course it's always the case that some songs are better than others but the qualitydifference in Jadissongs is very little. Recently I read in an interview with Chandler why this is: he produces songs or parts of songs in quite a significant number but he only uses the best parts/best songs for his albums. That is also the reason he sometimes produces one album in 3 years. He is quite choosy in what will end up as an albumsong.

A very good example of this fact in Jadis'music is his second album Across the water. This one contents only seven songs but they are all of a very high standard. Some of the songs are related to each other (Touch & No Sacrifice) but they are also fairly similar. Not very fast, quiet songs with - as usual - great guitarwork by mr. Chandler. Absolute highlight to me is In Isolation, a brilliant composition: Jadis at its best. As mentioned the rest is hardly any less. So I can give only 5 stars, it's fully deserved.

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Send comments to progrules (BETA) | Report this review (#140432)
Posted Tuesday, September 25, 2007 | Review Permalink
ZowieZiggy
PROG REVIEWER
2 stars I quite liked the first album and the follow-up EP from this band, and I was quite interested to listen to more of their music. But I have to say that "Across the Water" is far from being that good.

This album is too derivative of ..."IQ" (which is derivative of "Genesis"). Compositions are on the weak side, flat ("In Isolation"). No highlights, just a collection of average songs. Nothing fancy really. Martin plays his keys as well as he can, as Gary on guitar. Both do a very good job with their according instrument but the problem just resides in the music itself. Not in the way it is played.

Some great guitar breaks will highlight this gloomy album once in a while but not enough IMO. One exception maybe with "Daylight Fades". It is one of the longest song of this album and at least it features a catchy melody and more guitar than the other songs. But the closing part is rather wierd. Still, the only highlight.

The sound is truely like the early "IQ" on "Everywhere I Turn". Just add a poppish touch and you'll get it. Not convincing during the first part; but when the instrumental breaks get in (mainly keyboards this time) the level seriously improves. Same happens with "A Life Is All You Need". The best resides in the intrumental section. Beautiful keys, very melodic. Actually, more of these are needed.

And the story goes on with "The World on your Side". Really insipid vocals. The weakest track of this album in this respect. And it's a pity because in terms of guitar, it is just incredibly good. But vocals can ruin (even if partially) a good composition. The closing number "No Sacrifice" being a mix of mellow lyrics and slow-heavy beat. Just as the rest of this album : average.

I wouldn' t recommend this album. Musicianship is great but music is below expectations. Mine at least. Five out of ten. But since the rating system is so approximate on PA, I will downgrade it to two stars.

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Send comments to ZowieZiggy (BETA) | Report this review (#145776)
Posted Thursday, October 18, 2007 | Review Permalink
Gatot
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Honorary Collaborator
3 stars JADIS "Across The Water" I purchased it in May, 1999. I do agree that the music is in a way has some similarity with IQ but when I look in to deep, it's basically different in style and nature. While IQ is basically a keyboard-based music in terms of rhythm and basic structure with add on of guitar solo and keyboard solo, melodic singing line. JADIS' style revolves around guitar solo by the band's leader Gary Chandler. While the music of IQ is practically fluent and fluid in nature in terms of flow, the music of Jadis has basically lacked melody that flows naturally from one segment to another - it tends to be flat. It does not necessary mean than the music of JADIS is bad at all - in fact, if the mood is right, I can enjoy the music of JADIS quite well.

This album was released one year after the release of seminal album by IQ: "Ever" but in terms of musicality this one is less attractive than "Ever". Why I am referring to IQ? Because it was said the music is similar and in fact the musicians that contribute to this album is HALF IQ because Martin Orford (Keyboard) and John Jowitt (bass) are basically from IQ. There are flavours of IQ especially on musical breaks that happen between segments where Martin provides his keyboard work. I can hear it clearly from the opening two tracks like "Touch" and "In Isolation". One thing very obvious on bass playing style by Joh Jowitt who by this album has become JADIS' main line-up. In previous album "More Than Meets The Eye" he was just a session player.

Gary Chandler delivers stunning guitar solo like the one in track two "In Isolation" at approx min 4:50. His guitar solo sometimes remind me to guitar solo of Mike Holmes (IQ). In some segments in this album I can find some similarities between IQ and JADIS. However, they do not sound similar on song by song basis. For example, the intro of track 3 "Daylight Fades" may be referred to IQ music in its ambient but not in guitar work which reminds me to jazz fusion music. The long sustain keyboard work sounds like an IQ song and especially when vocal enters at minute 1:20, there is a proximity with IQ. But the way guitar is played during solo is different.

Track 5 "A Life Is All You Need" starts with an ambient music using sampling drumwork followed by dragging vocal line. This track demonstrates a vocal harmony and nice guitar solo that starts at minute 1:43. John Jowitt bass guitar work is quite tight accompanying the guitar solo that flows excellently. On track 6 "The World On Your Side" Gary provides a nice acoustic guitar work with flute-like sound. It reminds me to early Genesis music.

Overall, this is a good presentation of music mainly dominated by Gary Chandler's guitar solo. Fans of neo progressive music would love this album, I believe. Keep on proggin' ..!

Peace on earth and mercy mild - GW

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Send comments to Gatot (BETA) | Report this review (#158241)
Posted Thursday, January 10, 2008 | Review Permalink
3 stars This is one of the albums by Jadis giving me the impression that the band has a lot of themes at the ready but don't know how to make songs out of them. Sometimes the themes constituting a song almost fight each other. I often thought > Now, they use this wonderful idea and spoil it all with the next one<. So one has to put up a lot of tolerance, especially with the first and the two last tracks. But the best track exemplifying the problem mentioned is EVERYWHERE I TURN. this song has some great ideas - and some very mediocre ones. DAYLIGHT FADES and A LIFE IS ALL YOU NEED are the most accessible - and enjoyable - tracks. So, with the tracks no. 2-5 you get your money's worth. Because of the said problems in the songwriting department, one will find this music more challenging than comparable bands of the same segment (e.g. Arena, Marillion, Pendragon, IQ). But they always find some very beautiful and catchy themes easy to remember. It's a typical 3 stars album.

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Send comments to strayfromatlantis (BETA) | Report this review (#163833)
Posted Thursday, March 13, 2008 | Review Permalink
b_olariu
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars Jadis is one of the neo prog bands that always were and are in the sadow of big names like Iq, Marillion, Pallas, Pendragon and Arena, not because the music is second hand but because they didn't have so much luck over the years to come in first league. This is their second album from 1994 named Across the water and my fav from them for sure. Composed and played in the pure neo prog tradition, with crispy guitar arrangements, lush keyboards work and clean vocals arrangements, Jadis manage to come with a valid album , good and very often well balanced. Here are two of the most important members of IQ, Martin Orford who done the keyboards work and some background vocals and John Jowitt on bass. The main man of the band Gary Chandler was clearly influnced by Iq, and is showed here on every piece, but the important thing is that Jadis is less keyboard orientated band then Iq, is more focused on guitars then keys, and because of that some guitar parts remind me of Steve Hackett. The guitar parts is excellent, very smooth and elegant, just listen to the beggining of In Isolation, great intro, in rest all the pieces are good,pleasent and for sure will pleases most of the neo prog fans. I like this album 4 stars, nothing more nothing less.

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Send comments to b_olariu (BETA) | Report this review (#247298)
Posted Friday, October 30, 2009 | Review Permalink
4 stars Jadis is a neo-prog band that share many members with IQ. It is part of the eco-system that made the prog survive in the early nineteens. They however successfully survived to their first years and keep producing albums at a low tempo (one every 3 years typical). This album is their second production, just after their debut and peak album "More than Meets the Eye".

Jadis is strong at instrumental sections and all the songs are rather soft prog (both by the melodic choices and the lack of heavy/hard edge in it).

The album's opening is magnificient : "Touch" and "In Isolation" are both excellent tracks that compares to Jadis's other top tracks. "Daylight Fades" is also rather enjoyable.

The remaining songs are a bit less interesting : these songs are all rather enjoyable in stand- alone and are even good in such context... However, they follow very similar structure and this gives to the album no real tempo. Amongst them, the sixth track "The World on your side" delivers a bit better.

Overall, this album (as does most of Jadis's albums) is excellent and enjoyable. However, it doesn't bring enough fresh air to be viewed as an essential.

Rating : 4 stars.

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Send comments to Subterranean (BETA) | Report this review (#263546)
Posted Saturday, January 30, 2010 | Review Permalink
SouthSideoftheSky
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

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Send comments to SouthSideoftheSky (BETA) | Report this review (#288356)
Posted Saturday, June 26, 2010 | Review Permalink
Mellotron Storm
PROG REVIEWER
3 stars This is the follow-up to the debut "More Than Meets The Eye" and it continues with that same pleasant, melodic style of Neo-Prog. Same lineup as well.

"Touch" opens with the guitar soloing tastefully before the full sound arrives around a minute.Vocals follow. It does settle with keyboards 3 minutes in but it's brief. It settles again late as synths pulse slowly. "In Isolation" is mellow with reserved vocals. It kicks in at a minute then settles back again as the tempo continues to shift. "Daylight Fades" is laid back as the vocals join in. An enjoyable song, very pleasant in fact. It does pick up after 4 minutes instrumentally. Nice section.Vocals are back after 5 1/2 minutes. A tasteful guitar solo arrives before 7 minutes.

"Everywhere I Turn" is a catchy mid-paced tune with some harmonies. "A Life Is All You Need" is mellow with vocals. "The World On Your Side" opens with acoustic guitar and flute.Vocals join in then it kicks in before 1 1/2 minutes. It settles back some as the guitar and vocals lead. It picks up 3 minutes in with keys then vocals leading. "No Sacrifice" features vocals only early on then it kicks in instrumentally around 1 1/2 minutes. A calm 6 1/2 minutes in to end it.

If pleasant and relaxing music is your thing then you should check this band out.

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Send comments to Mellotron Storm (BETA) | Report this review (#397270)
Posted Thursday, February 10, 2011 | Review Permalink
apps79
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Neo Prog Team
3 stars ''More Than Meets the Eye'' was received warmly worldwide, followed by triumphant reviews and radio airplay, and Jadis strengthened their existence with some superb gigs in Germany, Holland and France.In 1993 their live scheduled was a bit lowered with the band working intensively in studio, releasing the EP ''Once Upon a Time'' at the fall of the year, containing three early Jadis tracks.From January to March 94' Jadis completed the works of their upcoming album ''Across the Water'' at Parkland Stusdios in the Denmead village, released in May on Giant Electric Pea.

What marked Jadis internationally as a great Neo Prog act were the shining melodies and the twisted guitar lines of Gary Chandler and with ''Across the Water'' the man just prooves who is the leading force of Jadis.The second CD of the group includes powerful yet melodic compositions with warm vocals, growing rhythmic parts, memorable melodies and passionate atmospheres.The overall style remains fairly accesible, though it seems there is a bit more room for Orford to deliver some additional keyboard textures.Speaking of Orford, many moments of ''Across the Water'' are characterized by the epic sound of IQ with slightly more demanding instrumental themes in some tracks and an excellent production supporting Jadis' sound.What the album lacks is the pair of unmet, striking melodies of ''More Than Meets the Eye'', but even so this work is far from betraying the listener.No weak moments, mo empty places, just dynamic and elaborate Neo Prog in the old-fashioned way.

Guitar-led Neo Prog with a strong melodic content is the style better suited for Jadis and ''Across the Water'' is just that: Well-composed, accesible and melodic Neo Prog with some very sensitive instrumental and vocal parts.Strongly recommended...3.5 stars.

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Send comments to apps79 (BETA) | Report this review (#933325)
Posted Wednesday, March 20, 2013 | Review Permalink

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