Jadis - Fanatic

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

The pastel colors on the album cover are a clue as to what will be found inside. I wouldn't say Jadis' Fanatic is a soft album, but it is an album painted with the same pallete of colors. That is, mainly mellow prog rock, though with an edge at times. "Into Temptation" indicates that things aren't all mellow prog rock, and "I Never Noticed" ends with some cutting guitar blasts from Gary Chandler (guitar/vocals). But pieces like "Each And Every Day," "I Never Noticed" and "What Kind Of Reason" are lyrical, lovely pieces. Chandler's vocal delivery throughout the album is steady and strong, only fragile when it needs to be (as on "Each And Everyday") and even then he sounds very assured of himself.

In fact, that is what comes thorugh with this album - a band certain of who they want to be and what they want to sound like. And while those who prefer a heavier sound might find Jadis too bland, those who appreciate the more subtle possibilities of music will find in Fanatic a lovely album full of rich textures woven by guitar; piano, Hammond, and other keys (Martin Orford); drums and percussion (Steve Christy); and bass (John Jowitt). In a way, while band like Marillion, Galahad, IQ, etc. have taken divergent paths (most certainly those first two, at least), Jadis has stuck with it. And if this wasn't such a good album, it might not work as well as it does.

What I love about this style of music, what drew me to it in the first place, was the guitar playing, and Chambers playing is as crystalline and chiming as always - wringing emotion out of every solo. The guitarist who style Chambers' most resembles is Steve Rothery, and with that, I can say that there are times when Fanatic reminds me - in a very general way - of Marillion's own Holidays In Eden. No more so perhaps than on the above mentioned "Each And Everyday," where Chambers' fragile delivery is not unlike Steve Hogarth's.

Jadis do open the album in an unconvential manner for this style as "The Great Outside" begins with the chirping of birds and twangy slide, but from there, the piece launches into the familiar Jadis mode. There is one points at which the drumming draws unfavorable attention to itself, and again it is "Each And Everyday" that provides the example. The piece begins with digital drums that come in cold and stark contrast to the strummed guitars and Chambers' vocal delivery. It is the one moment where one thinks the band wanted to bring in a more "modern" sound, to have something that reflected current trends? it's use here however is all wrong and mars what would otherwise be a very lovely and emotional piece. Drumming is prominent in the very next track "I Never Noticed," which continues the mood, but here because the tone is less cold, works much better with the rest of the instruments. However, these two tracks are quite similar to each other.

The title track is a floaty piano piece which subtly adds singing keyboards and understated percussion. Somewhat Pink Floyd-esque, and yet too "pretty" for Floyd, we do get, at about the halfway point, Chambers coming in with a Gilmor like solo. This all blends seamlessly into the slightly angular "Yourself Alone" - just a tad edgy arrangement wide, with clanking percussion and a stomping rhythm (kinda industrial sounding, but in soft focus). Oddly enough, it's a piece that reminds me of Enchant, who on their own recent release made me think of Jadis (and Marillion, but that's a different review).

Those who have been following Jadis since the beginning will not be disappointed with Fanatic, as it delivers the type of prog rock we've come to expect from this quintet; and this is a solid enough release that should appeal to those new to Jadis as well. I do find myself wanting a little more variation in tone and color from track to track, and maybe that its because I've been listening to harsher and heavier things of late. But it's pleasant and enjoyable to listen to and holds up after several plays. All in all a solid effort.

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: December 14th 2003
Reviewer: Stephanie Sollow
Artist website: www.jadismusic.com
Hits: 678
Language: english


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