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UNDERSTAND

Jadis

Neo-Prog


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Jadis Understand album cover
3.24 | 48 ratings | 10 reviews | 2% 5 stars

Good, but non-essential


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Studio Album, released in 2000

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Where in the World (5:53)
2. Is This Real? (6:54)
3. Alive Inside (4:51)
4. Between Here and There (2:56)
5. Racing Sideways (4:43)
6. Understand (6:43)
7. Giraffe Chariot (5:09)
8. Counting all the Seconds (7:00)

Total Time: 44:09

Lyrics

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Music tabs (tablatures)

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Line-up / Musicians

- Steve Christey / drums
- Gary Chandler / guitar, vocals
- Martin Orford / keyboards, backing vocals
- John Jowitt / bass

Releases information

JADISMUSIC #JAD 004

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JADIS Understand ratings distribution


3.24
(48 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(2%)
2%
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(42%)
42%
Good, but non-essential (48%)
48%
Collectors/fans only (8%)
8%
Poor. Only for completionists (0%)
0%

JADIS Understand reviews


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Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Greger
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars JADIS fourth studio album "Understand" is rather straightforward and could be labelled as a symphonic, neo-progressive pop album. The music is a mix between ARENA, IQ, PENDRAGON, RUSH, The URBANE and YES. I have heard a few tracks from their previous "Somersault" album and I liked the musical direction on that album a lot more. The songs have strong choruses, sweeping keyboards and great guitar playing. The vocals are very good and so are the backing vocals. The highlights are the opening "Where In The World", "Alive Inside", the instrumental "Between Here & There", "Giraffe Chariot" and the closing "Counting All The Seconds". The cover artwork is magnificent and it's really appealing to me. Overall it's a great album, but personally I would've wanted a little bit more "progressiveness" and originality, but I believe that it will be a much-appreciated album in a historical JADIS perspective.

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Send comments to Greger (BETA) | Report this review (#4009) | Review Permalink
Posted Saturday, February 28, 2004

Review by Hibou
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars I admit owning only this one album by JADIS and upon hearing them for the first time, I immediately thought of ASIA. The music of "Understand" is rather MOR/popish, almost radio friendly, and the singer sounds very much like John Wetton, an 'in-your-face' type of voice you can't possibly ignore, which suits the music perfectly. Their mind-blowing intros are bombastic enough and quite promising, the arrangements powerful, the production top notch and the melodies well dressed (great guitar play) but very streamlined. It's fun for a couple of spins but soon leaves you wanting for something more substantial. Nice music to crank up while driving around in your car, with the windows wide open - it'll sure make a few heads turn.

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Send comments to Hibou (BETA) | Report this review (#4010) | Review Permalink
Posted Wednesday, May 26, 2004

Review by Jared
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars Jadis' 4th album, 'Understand' followed after a hiatus of 3 years, and saw former members John Jowitt and Martin Orford (IQ's base and keys, respectively) rejoin the fold. The result is a very pleasing, if unspectacular medium paced, MOR offering, which has all the hallmarks of classic Jadis without it quite reaching the heights of the first two albums. As with all Jadis albums, 'Understand' is both catchy and instantly accessible, with their trademark guitar hooks and interplay with the keyboards.

In essence, with tracks such as 'Where In The World', 'Is This Real' and 'Giraffe Chariot', the album contains too many similar, even paced, mid tempo tracks. In fact, it doesn't seem to pick up until part way through 'Alive Inside', where the centrepiece of the track is the instrumental, showing a snapshot of what these four musicians are capable of, together. The album includes an instrumental, 'Between There & Here', which is their first since 'Holding Your Breath' from the debut album, but sadly doesn't deliver the same breadth or diversity and therefore interest as it's forerunner.

Having said this, the album is not without it's highlights; there is a marked change in tempo with the rockier 'Racing Sideways', which has a harder edge, and contains some lovely interplay between guitar and keyboards. The strongest track on the album however is the 7 minute closer, 'Counting All The Seconds', which is possibly Martin Orford's best opportunity to demonstrate some beautifully atmospheric keyboards. Meanwhile, Chandler shows his true craftsmanship by allowing his guitar to saw above the backing, in true 'Andy latimer' style, before the track is rounded off with an emotive vocal climax.

Ultimately howver, I can't hide a certain disappointment in 'Understand', partly because the melodies amble along in 'Sunday morning' gear, with little variation throughout the 8 tracks. Personally, I remember feeling a great sense of optimism in Jadis' future when the classic line-up reformed, but I was disappointed that their 6 year hiatus had not seen them build on 1994's impressive 'Across The Water', as there is certainly less here for prog fans by way of time changes and technical prowess.

I feel although the sum of the musical parts may be greater on 'Understand', it hasn't made for a greater whole, and that after hearing the album, I have just left a restaurant still feeling peckish. That said, all the right ingredients are still there, and anyone with a penchant for light, upbeat neo-prog will ultimately not be too disappointed with this album.

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Send comments to Jared (BETA) | Report this review (#62197) | Review Permalink
Posted Thursday, December 29, 2005

Review by kev rowland
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Crossover Team
4 stars And, lo, it came to pass, that the classic Jadis line-up reformed and recorded an album together. Then they rested. And it was good.

Well, after some time away Arena-ing and IQ-ing, Martin Orford (keys/vocals) and John Jowitt (bass) are now back in the Jadis camp. While both are of course still key players in IQ, John has now left Arena, which has given him some more time and he has returned to the fold. With Steve Christey on drums and Gary Chandler on vocals/guitar, the line-up which gave us the classic timeless 'More Than Meets The Eye' are back together once again.

From opener "Where In The World" it is apparent that they are immediately back on top form. Gary has a distinctive vocal style, added to his melodic guitar playing which also has a unique sound, which gives Jadis a musical melody all of their own. There are soaring vocals, guitar leads to die for, and the music is all held together in a way that many bands can never achieve, however much they strive. It is hard to pick out a favourite, as I enjoyed all eight songs immensely, and only time will tell if I feel this to be better than 'More..', which is still very much a regular on my player. It is definitely the best release since their debut full-length CD, many moons ago. And who knows, given a year or two I may even say that it is better. If you have never heard Jadis and you enjoy melodic/prog rock then you really are missing a treat.

Feedbacl #58, May 2000

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Send comments to kev rowland (BETA) | Report this review (#145878) | Review Permalink
Posted Friday, October 19, 2007

Review by ZowieZiggy
PROG REVIEWER
3 stars Original line-up is back on business again for this "Jadis" album. But musically, there won't be any revolution : same sort of accessible music.

One of my major concern in "Jadis" recordings were the vocal parts. Garry Chandler being so great on the guitar but relatively weak as a lead vocalist. On their first live album ("As Daylight Fades") he showed some more talent and it is confirmed on this new studio work.

My favourite album is their debut one as it is often the case for such bands. After the initial kick off, they seem to be out of steam quite rapidly. Although "Jadis" recorded a great EP "Once Upon A Time" a year later (1993) their following albums were not so creative.

I guess that the same can be said over this album. Guitar work is less present (remember that Martin Orford is back) just as if it were more an "IQ" sort of release. None of the tracks are poor but very few do hold this little extra that turns an average song into a good to very good one.

Actually, there is only one great song here IMO. The title track "Understand". Its spacey and very atmospheric introduction breaks the uniformity that is to be noticed since the start of the album. The melody as well is the best one to be featured. Instantly memorizable and so sweet. Perhaps a bit poppy...

The second best is the short intrumental "Between Here & There". In terms of guitar breaks (which will be very few), the closing number "Counting all the Seconds" is the only one really ...counting. My third fave.

As I have said, most songs are good and if you are into the neo-prog genre this album might well be of interest for you.

Three stars.

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Send comments to ZowieZiggy (BETA) | Report this review (#148199) | Review Permalink
Posted Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Review by progrules
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars After three years of silence this release came out and the plus is that it's a better album than Summersault but the minus is that it's by far not their best ever. So that leaves some explaining to do.

They open with Where in the world, a kind of ballad and typical Jadis followed by Is this real ? and Alive inside, two average tracks in my opinion. Between here and there is one of those nice instrumentals I always like by this band. Next three tracks are better than the first three, I have particularly a soft spot for Giraffe Chariot bringing out a very nice atmosphere.

But the superb highlight of this album is one of the best tracks ever by Jadis: Counting all the seconds. It starts ballad-like with a mellow vocal part but the last few minutes are reserved for Chandler at his best. Truly amazing guitar playing that brings me in ecstasy, the reason I love this band and probably will for ever. I wish all tracks were like this but that would be tedious of course.

Thanks to that last song this album deserves an extra star to me. So 4 this time.

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Send comments to progrules (BETA) | Report this review (#151679) | Review Permalink
Posted Monday, November 19, 2007

Review by Gerinski
PROG REVIEWER
3 stars Jadis are close to the paradigm of neo-prog with bands like IQ, Pendragon, Pallas or Arena but leaning more to the melodic pop-rock side and less to real prog, to the point that some people might consider them closer to crossover rather than to neo-prog. Catchy melodies and the beautiful guitar solos and pleasant voice of Gary Chandler are their strong points.

However after their wonderful 'More than meets the eye' and the slightly lower but still good 'Across the water' (have not heard 'Somersault') 'Understand' is a disappointment.

While the melodies, the solos and other phrases in their first 2 albums were really inspired, the music here is dull. Musically it follows the same style and formula, and the sound is very good, it's simply that the musical phrases are not so inspired. Even if Chandler's solos have always been really good, these guys have never exhibited much virtuosism, and in this record both the music and the interpretation are even more simple. On top it has very few dynamics, all the songs sound pretty much the same, there are no differences in moods, tempos nor styles. It is so linear that it's even difficult to comment on single tracks, there is none so bad that would make you switch off but neither any good enough that makes you smile in admiration.

If forced I would pick like most other eviewers the opener 'Where in the world', 'Between here and there', 'Understand' and 'Counting all the seconds'.

If you don't know Jadis don't start by this album, get first MTMTE and if you like it follow with ATW. I can't speak for the other albums but you can surely live without 'Understand' unless you are a real fan of the band.

All in all 2,5 stars.

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Send comments to Gerinski (BETA) | Report this review (#270772) | Review Permalink
Posted Tuesday, March 09, 2010

Review by SouthSideoftheSky
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Symphonic Team
3 stars Yes, I do understand

I have yet to hear the band's often detested previous album Somersault, but judging from the present album Jadis did not change anything in their sound and approach since their first two albums. Still, Understand is a fine release and a good album in the typical Jadis style. It is not as good as the delightful Across The Water which is my personal Jadis favourite, but it sits well in their discography.

Like their previous albums, this one too follows a very similar formula. Jadis makes pleasant and enjoyable music without the edge and dramatic twists and turns of some other Neo-Prog bands. As such it risks coming across as rather understated and tame in the ears in many visitors to these parts, but it will certainly please some. The individual tracks don't differ from each other enough to deserve specific comments. The whole album is enjoyable and very well produced music.

One of Jadis' better albums, recommended to those that liked their previous albums

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Send comments to SouthSideoftheSky (BETA) | Report this review (#607536) | Review Permalink
Posted Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Review by kenethlevine
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Prog-Folk Team
2 stars Competently playing and arranging in an almost unflinching "power ballad" style, JADIS forgot about the hooks. Now that's not necessarily a bad thing, except that sometimes a catchy chorus is the only aspect that endures in such a conservative genre and I'm not sure JADIS has a clue in spite of their song oriented approach. The other major issue is that the songwriting is below par. As a result even Gary Chandler's skilled guitar work is cheapened by the transparency with which it is inserted in otherwise mundane tracks to keep them on life support well beyond their useful life.

The tracks that are more consistent and integrated are the more emotionally charged "Alive Inside"; the spacey title cut, in spite of not quite live up to its ELOY-ish beginning; and the closer "Counting All the Seconds", which does succeed in amplifying a decent track with Chandler's best solo.

"Understand" is much leaner than most neo prog but lacks the oomf one might hope for under the circumstances. This is a case where a little more panache might have vaulted the album into the guilty pleasures category but, as is, it's hard to understand the appeal.

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Send comments to kenethlevine (BETA) | Report this review (#796468) | Review Permalink
Posted Sunday, July 29, 2012

Review by b_olariu
PROG REVIEWER
3 stars Jadis forth album from 2000 named Understand is the most unintresting album from their catalogue, at least for me. If Across the water is my fav from them and was full of great parts, hooks and catchy passages, here Jadis seams like they run out of ideas, I mean the whole album is mid tempo and has that mellow feel on every pieces. The pieces are not bad , are compose in Jadis manner, but is far from the greatness of Across the water, besides the instrumental Between Here and There who is excellent with top notch guitar parts, I wish the whole album sounding like this pieces, and maybe the opening track as the second best, the rest are totaly forgetable , not bad but unintresting for my ears. An album that was released in a time when Jadis was trying to compose more accesible music , without to many pretentious passages. Hardly 3 stars , weaker then anything they ever released, but in same time, can be heared couple of times while working on something else, no need to be concentrated on the music at all.

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Send comments to b_olariu (BETA) | Report this review (#820985) | Review Permalink
Posted Saturday, September 15, 2012

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