Jadis - Fanatic

Year of Release: 2003
Label: InsideOut
Catalog Number: IOMCD 122/SPV 085-65682
Format: CD
Total Time: 56:30:00

Those familiar with the work of Jadis will be very surprised when they pop the new album in their player. Instead of the familiar guitar sound you hear a slide steel guitar together with all kinds of weird sounds. In fact you could easily think you are listening to a new Mark Knopfler album. However, you don't even have to wait a full minute before Gary Chandler's distinctive sound fills the room. Jadis definitely is still Jadis after all! A new album from probably the best Jadis line-up ever, including the powerful rhythmic duo of John Jowit and Stephen Christey augmented with IQ's Martin Orford on keyboards. As happens most of the time those, keyboards mainly serve to back Gary's guitar parts and are used much less a solo instrument. Often the string sounds are used to give more depth to the song. Listen to the more commercial approach of "Into Temptation" where Gary also uses his head-voice as kind of an extra gimmick. Commercial might be a bit wrongly placed here, as the track lasts longer than six minutes, but then again isn't "Bohemian Rhapsody" similar where duration is concerned?

With "Each & Everyday," Jadis introduces electronic percussion to back a song that in nature is an acoustic offering. The combination of both extremes works rather well. Christey experiments even further during "I Never Noticed," but once the introduction is truly over, the chorus is backed by a rather predictable rhythm. Interesting contributions from Martin and Gary, the latter of whom delivers a fair amount of flageolets. Instrumental title track "Fanatic" has that Moby element building up and up as time passes and more and more rhythm is added. A great original track! Another highlight certainly has to be the soft "What Kind Of Reason," which has Gary mainly accompany himself on acoustic guitar. The strings in the background should have sounded a little louder in the mix though. It's "all systems go" with the final track "Who Can We Be Sure Of," which has Orford add some synth loops to the rhythm whilst Gary delivers some very hard sounding riffs.

Once again this is not a bad album, but I keep waiting for the Jadis album that will knock everyone's socks off, and it still doesn't happen. I have given this band so much credit over the years, but you can't keep on waiting. So what's wrong? For a while the line-up was what was wrong, but since Gary has joined forces again with Stephen, John and Martin, this is the best line-up Jadis will ever get, so that's not where the problem lies. Musicianship? Of course not, because you're listening to some of the best musicians around. The songs? Well, maybe some of the songs sound a little similar, but certainly lack that catchy melody that sets them aside from anything else. Gary's voice? He has a good distinctive voice, but maybe a voice that at times is a bit limited. What I mean is that he tends to sing in a similar way, not melodic enough. Maybe the lyrics don't lend themselves to be sung in a melodic way? Whatever the reason, Jadis still hasn't reached the absolute top level of the progressive genre, although they have been together longer than most bands. Maybe they should try their hand at some shorter songs that could nicely alternate with their longer compositions. Maybe next time. Maybe ...

Also released as as special edition (IOMSECD 122 / SPV 087-65680 CD)

The Great Outside (6:34) / Into Temptation (6:38) / Each & Everyday (6:09) / I Never Noticed (5:24) / Fanatic (4:04) / Yourself Alone (5:55) / Take These Words (4:16) / What Kind Of Reason (8:17) / Who Can We Be Sure Of (4:51) / Bonus Track (Special Edition): The Flame Is Burning Out (4:22)

Gary Chandler - guitar and vocals
Steve Christey - drums and percussion
Martin Orford - keyboards and backing vocals
John Jowitt - bass guitars and backing vocals

More Than Meets The Eye (1992)
Once Upon A Time (EP) (1993)
Across The Water (1994)
No Sacrifice (EP) (1994)
Once Or Twice (EP) 1996)
Somersault (1997)
As Daylight Fades (1998)
Understand (2000)
Medium Rare (2001)
Alive Outside (2001)
Fanatic (2003)
More Than Meets The Eye -Special Edition (2005)
Photoplay (2006)
See Right Through You (2012)
No Fear Of Looking Down (2016)
More Than Meets The Eye - 25th Anniversary Edition (2017)

Genre: Progressive Rock

Origin UK

Added: October 19th 2003
Reviewer: John "Bobo" Bollenberg

Artist website: www.jadismusic.com
Hits: 619
Language: english


[ Back to Reviews Index | Post Comment ]