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Honorary Collaborator
3 stars 'Once Or Twice' was a second EP released by Gary Chandler, in 1996, shortly after John Jowitt and then Martin Orford had left on a slightly more permanent basis to help IQ with the construction of their double concept album 'Subterranea' (although having said that, Jadis fans will know that these days they are back with Gary and Steve Christey once more, having recorded 'Understand' and 'Fanatic' together). This EP contains four tracks, three of which had been 'lying around' in unfinished form since the late 80's, and given a re- write and a new lease of life, and 'Hiding In The Corner', a track from their debut album, recorded live in Amsterdam in 1995.

This EP was discontinued a few years ago, and these songs may be purchased as part of the excellent 'Medium Rare' album, issued in 2001. Anyone wishing to read more about this album should see my review on this site.

Report this review (#4002)
Posted Sunday, May 15, 2005 | Review Permalink
Easy Livin
Honorary Collaborator / Retired Admin
2 stars Tunnel vision?

Released in 1996 between the "Across the water" and "Somersault" albums, "Once or twice" was Jadis' second EP of non-album tracks. This time we have four songs, all of around five minutes.

While the material on the band's first EP ("Once upon a time") was strong, here we have a selection of rather second rate material, which may be summarised as undistinguished neo- prog.

The opening "This changing face" has all the requisite string synths and lead guitars, with some harder riffs giving the track some edge, but the song rambles and lacks a decent melody. Whether this was in part down to the departure of keyboard player Martin Orford is debatable, as the song had been written many years previously. "In the dark", a song written about an abandoned railway tunnel(!), suffers from the same deficiency, although it does include a fine Tony Banks ("A curious feeling") like synth section.

"Taking your time" was mainly written by former member Trev Hawkins, who had left the band some years before they got round to recording it. This slower ballad is well performed, with some tasteful string synth backed guitar.

The final track is a live version of "Hiding in the corner" originally from the band's first album. The sound is rather muddled, with only the guitar coming across with any sort of distinction.

In all, a rather dull EP with pleasant sounds but short on melodies. The EP has since been deleted and incorporated in remastered format on the 2001 Jadis release "Medium rare", which also includes an acoustic version of "This changing face".

Report this review (#85418)
Posted Tuesday, August 1, 2006 | Review Permalink
2 stars After the average "Across the Water", "Jadis" released this mini-album which in a certain way prolonged the experience in the sense that it holds some very good instrumental parts but when it comes to vocal ones, it is just too short. I don't know what's the problem with Gary : his voice is smooth but his tone is too mellow, uniform, unexpressive for most of the time; at least since their great EP "Once Upon A Time".

Some important line-up changes since Martin Orford went back with this "IQ" friends and is only featured during the live track "Hiding in the Corner" but on the ...vocals. To be honest, he should stick to the keys or at best to backing vocals. Fortunately, this is an almost full instrumental (great guitar as usual).

None of the songs from this EP are weak, but on the other hand great instrumental moments are scarce as well. When you listen to the wonderful guitar solo during "Taking Your Time", one can only blame the band for releasing only good halves songs. How comes ? I don't know. But I feel sorry about it because otherwise this band would deserve more recognition.

"This Changing Face" is childish for most of it (vocals, would you believe !) but Gary will compensate his vocal performance with a skilled guitar solo. A very well balanced track, after all. "In The Dark" sounds as a "Spandau Ballet" song. But they did with better. The worse song here.

This work is not on par with their previous EP "Once Upon A Time" but times have changed (even if only three years separate both releases). Two stars.

Report this review (#145778)
Posted Thursday, October 18, 2007 | Review Permalink
3 stars This EP by Jadis isn't their most significant effort in their history, but I keep saying it: their music is a guarantee for quality and even this somewhat lesser production is worthwhile in my opinion. This changing face is a nice opener with a fine romantic mood about it. Chandler sings these very well and I think this is a typical Jadis song. In the dark is also nice though somewhat less impressive. Taking your time is a very nice one as well, I don't know what to say about each song individually all the time. Jadis is Jadis. Fans will know what I'm talking about. Melodic tracks with often a great guitar contribution by Gary. That's why we love it. Their last song is a live performance of a song of their debut album. Not their very best song to me, but still good.

I believe each effort by this great band is at least worth 3 stars, maybe even 4 but in that case we wouldn't be able to make a distinction between the albums. And I have to agree this isn't Jadis best effort of all time so I give 3 this time (3.5). Still recommended for their fans or people who want to find out what their music is like.

Report this review (#148509)
Posted Friday, November 2, 2007 | Review Permalink
Symphonic Team
2 stars Once Upon A Time

Jadis have been around in one form or other since the mid 80's. Like the previous EP, Once Upon A Time, the present EP too features music written in the early days of the band's career. That is, in the years before the release of the debut album, More Than Meets The Eye, in 1992. One of this EP's four tracks is a live recording of a song from that album, while the other three tracks are studio recordings. Unlike on the Once Upon A Time EP, the songs here are rather short and simple with a Pop touch. Both EP's have since been made available on the rarities collection called Medium Rare.

This music is not very exciting but by no means bad as such. If you are interested in Jadis, I would not recommend starting here. Start instead with the band's full length albums. Their second album, Across The Water, is particularly good, in my opinion.

This EP is only for fans and collectors

Report this review (#288446)
Posted Sunday, June 27, 2010 | Review Permalink
3 stars Once or Twice is another Jadis EP of older material that was released between main albums. But the material is original and of high quality, so it merits a separate mention. Songs on Once or Twice average 5 minutes, which is shorter than the "old" Jadis standard of 6-to-7. But the emphasis is on instrumental firepower, and the song constructions resemble "old" Jadis with intricate intros, melodic verses, power chords and in-your-face solos. The EP starts with two energetic rockers, followed by a power ballad and a live rendition of one song off the classic More than Meets the Eye album. Maybe not the best songs of Gary Chandler's career, but good and three stars.
Report this review (#1555631)
Posted Sunday, April 24, 2016 | Review Permalink

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