Jadis
More Than Meets The Eye
01/01/1992
Jadis fans are used to waiting for long periods in between studio albums from the band. And “Photoplay” was no exception. While you could be forgiven for thinking that guitarist, singer and songwriter Gary Chandler took much longer to complete his sixth work than with previous releases, he actually started working on this one much earlier than usual …

Perhaps it was Gary Chandler’s joyful anticipation to have the opportunity of working with Pro Tools which especially drove him. By using possibly one of the best music production tools on the market at the moment, you can record music on more than 64 tracks, cut and edit the music. For more than a year Chandler worked with the new gear on new songs at his home, and for the first time he also took on the role of sound engineer.

“Finally I had the opportunity to create something that I was absolutely satisfied with”, Chandler reveals. “With Pro Tools you actually have infinite possibilities. So I could work in a completely different way than on earlier albums when you’ve got to record all of the music within four weeks. This time I could approach my songs not only from the guitarist’s point of view but also from that of the keyboardist, and this produced a whole lot of new ideas”.

Now purists may be fearful that as a result of all of this technical fiddling, “Photoplay” might lack some of the radiant emotion of previous releases but the result is quite the opposite. In fact, rarely has an album by the band sounded more inspired. Jadis have always pursued wonderful melodies in this field of tension between progressive and melodic symphonic rock to integrate them into their music, creating an emotionally rich mixture. This procedure is still the same, only now Chandler can fully exhaust his potential. Technology is just what you make of it. “For me, the most important aspect of music is that it touches people – in the ideal case the feeling is so strong that they want to hear the music over and over again. The more you concentrate on the essential parts the better you can achieve this effect. I spent a lot of time with the arrangement of the songs and tried to focus on those parts which are the most important in my opinion. The most gripping stories are those where every word counts and that is the case with the songs on ‘Photoplay’”.

The album offers eleven wonderful new songs, which rise and fall over a broad range of emotions. Jadis’ music sounds somewhere between Marillion, Pendragon and IQ, but at the same time it also has a lot in common with Asia and Kansas. This album really captivates the listener with its infectious melodies that stick in your head. Pieces such as “There’s A Light”, will remind listeners of the majestic guitar playing of Pink Floyd or Camel. The lively “Standing Still” with its pounding drums and its psychedelic pop inflections and the harmonically polished instrumental “Photoplay” are characterised by a sense of lightness that hasn’t previously been heard in Jadis. At the same time, there are rocking tracks such as “What Goes Around” with its striking rhythm structure combined with a dense Mellotron pattern and vocal harmonies. “Make Me Move” sounds faintly like Yes with its subtle rhythmic details. All of these songs contain highly melodic elements, which can be enjoyed repeatedly like a glass of good wine. “Photoplay” proves that you can also create demanding music without trying to impress by using superficial complexities.