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Camel - The Snow Goose CD (album) cover

THE SNOW GOOSE

Camel

 

Symphonic Prog

4.27 | 1579 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

zwordser
5 stars When I first heard Music Inspired by the Snow Goose, I was unsure how to rate it. I had already quite gotten into the other "classic" Camel albums (especially Moonmadness and Mirage) and I recognized some great moments on The Snow Goose, but on the whole, the album was a little harder for me to get into personally. I've even been a little bored with it at times, and found that it was not the best album to put on my Mp3 player to listen to during my workouts--just didn't have enough oomph like some other music (including some of Camel's other music) that I wanted. Indeed, scanning some of the more lukewarm and negative reviews on Progarchives of this album, the word "boring" comes up more than I've seen for any other album review.

But then, a couple years after I'd first heard the Snow Goose, I had a chance encounter with the novella that inspired the music: Paul Gallico's The Snow Goose. I dropped by a local library, and as I sat down, there before me on display was a new, fully illustrated version of the book. Unable to resist, I lifted it from its display, and began to read. It took about 20 minutes to finish this beautiful, heart-warming story of love and courage. It's a simple read, much like a child's book, but the emotional themes are much deeper, presented with a sort of minimalist clarity with each short scene. I pondered the idea of this story being developed into a full novel, which could easily be done, but length would probably lend too many distractions from this story's powerful simplicity.

With scenes from the story fresh in my mind, I left the library and listened to the full album--a new experience of heightened appreciation, for sure. I instantly recognized that each single scene of The Snow Goose had been beautifully and faithfully recreated (accounting for each of the 14 relatively short tracks of the album). I could see each scene in my mind as it's musical representation came up on the album. And I understood: although The Snow Goose is rock, it is a type of musical scene-painting. All the emotional nuances of the story are there, and I imagine the band members spent a lot of time feeling out each scene musically before writing and recording. I understand the band originally wanted to include lyrics, but did not due to rights issues and/or objections from Mr. Gallico (though I don't know the details). This is perhaps fortunate in a way, because it resulted one superb album; lyrics may have just been a distraction from the pure instrumental art.

And I'll never be bored with it again (although I realize there's better music for workouts). True to Camel's style, there are some harder moments and great jams, but overall the album is better listening for quieter, more introspective moments. For sure, an awesome artistic achievement and one of the great prog classics of the 70's. I understand the band re-recorded the album in 2013 and performed it on tour for the first time in 40 years. (wish I could've seen it). I give it 4.7 stars.

zwordser | 5/5 |

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