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Jadis - Photoplay CD (album) cover





3.15 | 92 ratings

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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

Gatot | 3/5 |


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