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Jadis Somersault album cover
2.97 | 65 ratings | 11 reviews | 11% 5 stars

Good, but non-essential

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Studio Album, released in 1997

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Live This Lie (8:44)
2. Batstein (6:52)
3. Speechless (5:34)
4. Losing My Fear (6:07)
5. Tomorrow Always Arrives (4:31)
6. Falling Away (6:50)
7. Hear Us (9:40)

Total Time: 46:58

Line-up / Musicians

- Gary Chandler / guitar,s lead & backing vocals
- Mike Torr / keyboards, backing vocals
- Steve Hunt / bass
- Steve Christey / drums, percussion

- Josien Obers / backing vocals

Releases information

Artwork: Geoffrey Chandler

CD Jadismusic ‎- DM JAD001 (1997, UK)

Thanks to ProgLucky for the addition
and to Quinino for the last updates
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JADIS Somersault ratings distribution

(65 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(11%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(32%)
Good, but non-essential (38%)
Collectors/fans only (15%)
Poor. Only for completionists (3%)

JADIS Somersault reviews

Showing all collaborators reviews and last reviews preview | Show all reviews/ratings

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by greenback
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars Compared to "More Than Meets The Eye", "Somersault" is a bit more disappointing, being quite different. The guitar solos are less long and powerful to the profit of a more accoustic or "electric clean" rythmic guitar, a bit like on "Clutching At Straws" by MARILLION. But this album is quite rock: the rythm guitar full of distortion is omnipresent.

Compared to Orford's work on "More than meets the eye", the new keyboardist here offers a more often detached performance to the rest of the music, and he uses more piano bits and keyboards solos. I find the ensemble more accessible, less neo progressive, maybe more hard rock than progressive. The bass is well played.

Nevertheless this album is excellent from beginning to the end.

Review by ZowieZiggy
2 stars I have rather mixed feelings about "Jadis". A good debut album, an excellent EP ("Once Upon A Time") to follow but the band will "compensate" this with a very average album ("Across the Water") followed two years later by the same sort of poor music in the form of a second EP : "Once Or Twice".

So, to which side does belong "Somersault" ?

Even though "Live This Lie" holds a lot of clichés of the neo-prog genre, it is a good and pleasant song. "Healthy" rhythm, good guitar work. Even vocals are OK (which was not often the case on their previous effort). "Badstein" is somewhat "Marillion" -oriented (guitar) but fully "Genesis" like on the keyboards. Although that mix might sound appealing, the result is not so great . It sounds as if their good debut won't be equalled.

Of course, Martin Orford has left the band to concentrate on the new "IQ" project. Mike Torr is holding the keys now (he was a guest on their second EP). Not an easy job to replace Martin, but Mike is doing it quite decently.

"Losing My Fear" takes some time to start. An acoustic and dull intro is fortunately followed by a great piece of music. Instrumental part here are excellent and the song struture is more elaborate with several theme changes. It is one of my two faves. The start of "Tomorrow Always Arrives" ranges it more on the symph style. Only the vocals are not convincing. Gary Chandler's mellow voice is too uniform. Lacks of passion and too much of the same. Most of the songs sound like each other. "Faling Away" just ...falls into the same trap.

This music is straight-forward. Fully neo-prog : easily accessible and reminiscent of "Marillion" and "Genesis". This work is not too original, I'm afraid. Still, the guitar solo from "Speechless" is great. But Gary Chandler has already pleased me during "More than Meets his Eye ". Not as a vocalist because he is very average in this position but his guitar play is really pleasant.

This album is not a brilliant one. The inspiration of the debut is gone. "Jadis" 's music is too repetitive. I would say five out of ten, but there are little reasons for me to upgrade it to three stars (not even "Hear Us" which is the longest song of this album and more on the heavy side). So, two stars.

Review by progrules
3 stars From the beginning I have a bit of a problem with this release by Jadis. On one hand it's an obvious Jadis album and so I should be ok with it but on the other hand there is something about it I'm not too fond of. Again there are no really poor songs on this album but I think the problem lies on the other side of quality: there are no highlights either and the songs are avarage for Jadis standard.

There are two pretty long tracks on this album, the first and the last and that is not often the case with Jadis songs and these songs are quite nice but not spectacular. Batstein, Speechless and Losing my fear are examples of the mediocre songs, still nice but nothing special. Tomorrow always arrives is the ballad of the album and Falling away is the best track to me, really good but not one of my all time favourites by this band.

So all in all not bad but I noticed the overall opinion by reviewers is that this is their least effort and I agree. So 3 stars for this.

Review by Gatot
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars JADIS "Somersault" I purchased it in April 1, 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.

Having parked this CD for such a long time and very rare occasions that I spun the CD, it's now the right time for me to listen to this CD again and write my thoughts about the music. Oh yeas, I can find that there are interesting pieces / segments where I can find the guitar solo by Gary Chandler is stunning and enjoyable. He delivers his mastery in creating notes through his guitar with his, sometimes, aggressive style. Take example on the opening track "Live This Life" where basically he screams about a life where no one actually listen to him, his guitar solo is quite interesting especially during chorus of interlude, like the one in minute 4:32. This kind of guitar playing style is quite obvious throughout the album.

On some occasions he also delivers a guitar work that combines blues style and howling guitar work like Steve Hackett. A good example is the intro of track 5 "Tomorrow Always Arrives" where it's quite obvious. But during accompanying the vocal, he turns the guitar into acoustic style to create a rhythm section with keyboard.

As I said, there are many interesting and stunning guitar solo you can find in this album. The only concern I have is that there are some disjointed segments that do not seem to connect smoothly from one to another and it sounds like they are being forced like that. The result is basically a flow of music that does not seem to be natural. However, this does not mean that this is a bad album, in fact, I still consider it as good. Do not expect something melodic is coming out from this album. Keep on proggin' ..!

Peace on earth and mercy mild - GW

Review by b_olariu
3 stars Third album of this discrete band named Somersaul from 1997. Well, this time they change direction here, not bad, but not an improvement over previous two albumas for sure. Now they are a little more lighter in sound but good again. Gone are now the IQ members from previous work and were replaced by Steve Hunt on bass and Mike Torr from keys. They sound more like Egdon Heath from Holland or Twin Age from Sweden now and less like Iq, Pendragon or Arena. The pieces are all godd, with up tempo parts who are very well melted with slower ones in a typical Jadis atmosphere. This album brings nothing new under neo prog roof, but is well played nad has some good moments over all like opening track Live This Lie , great guitar chops and Falling Away , the rest are ok. Somersault deserves from me 3 stars, is a good album in Jadis standards and has his own merits.
Review by SouthSideoftheSky
3 stars Hear us

Many people seem to dislike this one for some reason, but to my ears Somersault is another good Jadis album. Even if this was the band's third album, I only heard this after I had already heard all the other Jadis albums including their more recent efforts. And as I pointed out in some of my reviews, Jadis is a band whose albums all follow the same formula. Somersault is no exception to this and the sound of this album is Jadis through and through. But while this formulaic approach became a problem for them later on in their career, I don't think that their inspiration was running dry just yet at this point. Both the present album and the next one (2000's Understand) are valid and relevant efforts by a good band even if they had admittedly already reached their peak with the previous Across The Water (my personal favourite Jadis album).

The fact that Jadis never departed from their well-established sound makes it a little bit difficult to describe each album without repeating myself from earlier reviews. But those who have heard other albums by Jadis pretty much know what to expect from Somersault, and if you enjoyed those other albums chances are that you will enjoy this one too. As did I.

The cover art image is rather weird, but the music is enjoyable. Recommended to those who already have More Than Meets The Eye and Across The Water.

Review by apps79
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
2 stars ''Across the water'' was definitely among the succesful albums of Jadis, selling 3,000 copies within days of its release.After participating in Geoff Mann's tribute album ''Mannerisms'', Jadis entered a period of changes with John Jowitt and later Martin Orford quiting to focus on their work with IQ.Gone with them was the collaboration with the Giant Electric Pea label.The separation was friendly and their replacements were Steve Hunt and Mike Torr respectively.The new line-up made a brief introduction in the 96' EP ''Once or twice'', containing one live track and three reworkings of old songs, before a new album was launched in 1997 under the title ''Somersault''.It was released on Steve Rothery's short-lived Dorian label.

Stylistically not much has changed for Jadis, the style remains a melodic Neo Prog with focus on catchy songs, lyrical passages and atmospheric textures, highlighted by the guitar work and vocals of Gary Chandler.The new members were talented enough to provide solid bass work and some fine keyboard backgrounds in a few pieces.What this album lacks though are some of the striking melodies and memorable parts of the previous works, although ''Somersault'' is yet another album performed with energy and passion.Additionally the sound of the band appears to become less progressive with each release, even if some nice guitar breaks and tricky keyboards are thrown in this release as well.With such a guitar-based style, everything seems to start and finish around Chandler's mood, but this time his performance and compositions are less efficient compared to the nice past pearls of Jadis.Not a bad album by any means, the production is absolutely great, some melodic parts and rhythmic guitars are nice and even Torr appears to be a very good replacement over the talents of Ordford.But it's not all about offering a clean sound and atmospheric pieces in Prog Rock, Jadis' effort in here is less inspired and somewhat saturated with absence of fresh ideas.

Mediocre work by a band, which could do much better.Less proggy than any of Jadis' previous albums, heavily relying on atmospheric and melodic moments, which are not fully convincing.Recommended mainly to Neo Prog followers...2.5 stars.

Review by Tarcisio Moura
3 stars You know the kind of albuns where everything seems to be good and still you don´t fancy them that much? The same thing happens to me on titles like Uriah Heep´s Return To Fantasy, for example. Something´s missing and you can´t figure out what it is. For every time I put Somersault on I do like the songs. Especially if I listen carefully. But t me is one of Jadis least successful works. Ok, the line up changed but I believe it´s not the newbies fault. By the time the band have to record this CD both IQ members Martin Orford and Jon Jowitt had commitments to their main group and could not be around. Keyboardist Mike Torr took over Orford´s duties and bassist Steve Hunt replaced Jowitt. And the new duo does a fine job here.Sometimes they even excel and do have more room to show their skills then the previous ones. Gary Chandler and Steve Christey are in fine form. The production is also excellent. So I made an attempt to solve this case by carefully listening to the record exclusively for a few days.

To me Somersault´s main problem is about the songwriting: it´s their most dense and less accessible work to date. Like if they want to complicate things for the sake of it. Or so it seems. On the other hand it is also undeniable that there is no bad song here either. Upon listening carefully you discover that you like the album after all and that al the tracks have their charm. Some even deserved a little more attention by the public in general like Losing My Fear and Tomorrow Always Arrive. Certainly they are both the album´s highlights and, not coincidentally, the most melodic and the closest to their previous work. The other tracks are also good, with several strong moments on them. Chandlers guitar solos are maybe less inspired than before, but Torr´s keyboards are very creative and quete unique. Still it looks like they tried to bit more than they could chew, some parts just dragging too long affecting the CD´s flow. Long tunes don´t mean necessarily good ones.

Conclusion: I still think that Somersault´s tracks are, individually, very good, buy their running order and maybe the lack of a really powerful, memorable song makes it sound less good then it is. So in the end I can say it sounds actually better than I initially thought. So my rating would be be something between 3,5 and 4 stars. Compared to their more popular albums this is surely a less pleasant one. So I guess 3 stars is a fair grade. It is good, most of the time very good, but not as striking and captive as the bands previous work, or its follow up, 2000´s Understand. .

Latest members reviews

3 stars Jadis plays an accessible, melodic kind of neo-prog. This album, Somersault, is their worst-rated here on PA, but I would disagree. Sure, its uneven and not as good as the first two (and neither is what came later). But it still sports a punchy, clear production and four longer songs with multip ... (read more)

Report this review (#1552078) | Posted by Progrussia | Thursday, April 14, 2016 | Review Permanlink

2 stars Somersault is Jadis' least accessible album. This is due to a lack of clear vision as far as the songwriting is concerned. The songs feel as if the band were caught by surprise when the record company told them they had to have another album out. So they probably said >let's put some ideas toget ... (read more)

Report this review (#163838) | Posted by strayfromatlantis | Thursday, March 13, 2008 | Review Permanlink

3 stars Their third album, released in 1997 after the departure of Martin Orford & John Jowitt, has been quite harshly maligned by some as being a step backwards after their widely praised first two albums, 'More Than Meets The Eye' and 'Across The Water'. As a consequence, with the notable exception ... (read more)

Report this review (#4005) | Posted by Jared | Sunday, May 15, 2005 | Review Permanlink

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