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Camel - I Can See Your House From Here CD (album) cover




Symphonic Prog

2.87 | 619 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
4 stars The first Camel album without original keyboard player Pete Bardens and second bass player ex-Caravan Richard Sinclair, replaced by two keyboard players (Jan Schelhaas and Kit Watkins) and newcomer Colin Bass on bass (!!!), I Can See Your House From Here succeeds where Breathless had previously failed. The quality of the material here is undeniable, even though more poppy than their early outings. One can feel that everyone was going in the same direction this time around, which was not the case on Breathless, according to Latimer's comments in the liner notes of the Breathless reissue. Camel took the 80's curve well with ICSYHFH. It has a feel good vibe to it, and a genuine one at that.

First song 'Wait' is a good start for the album, very upbeat. I find the verse to be a bit weak, but that's about the only downfall to this otherwise good song. At times it reminds me a bit of Supertramp and Genesis around the same period. The instrumental section with the keyboard solos is great, sounding a bit like early Saga, which is the case a few times around on this album. I don't know if it has anything to do with the fact that both bands employed the same producer, Rupert Hine. Nice solo from Latimer ending the song in a fade-out.

'Your Love is Stranger Than Mine' takes the pop aspect of Camel a bit further, but done rather very well. This song is probably the one that sounds the most like Saga, at least in some parts (the keyboard theme mainly). Incredibly catchy tune. Nice vocal harmonies (yep, coming from Camel, that's no small feat), great sax solo courtesy of Mel Collins, and simple but effective percussion work from Phil Collins. Short, catchy, all the elements for a radio hit.

The Kit Watkins penned instrumental 'Eye of the Storm' is a great heartfelt instrumental, with great woodwinds work by M. Collins. Good fretless bass lines by Colin Bass. A Genesis influence can be heard here. Looking back now, this song shows clearly where Camel would go next, as this song could have easily been included on follow up magnum opus 'Nude'.

'Who we Are' is another very good song, once again reminiscent of Genesis (the guitar and keyboards sound as if Banks and Hackett around the ATOTT and WaW period, especially during the intro). Then comes a soft acoustic part graced with beautiful keyboards and another nice vocal melody courtesy of Latimer. The chorus can be compared to Supertramp, both vocally and musically, during the Even in the Quietest moments period. Nice string arrangments throughout the song. Love this song.

Speaking of string arrangments, next comes 'Survival', a strings only instrumental, beautifully written by Latimer and arranged and conducted by Simon Jeffes. Short, but inspiring.

'Hymn to Her' sounds like typical Camel, especially Latimer's guitar work, sounding a bit like something from The Snow Goose. Beautiful ballad, until 3 minutes and 10 seconds, when the song breaks into an upbeat instrumental section with great keyboard and guitar interplay, sounding like a cross between Genesis and Camel. Afterwards, the way they bring back the introduction theme is just brilliant. Another great song.

'Neon Magic', well is one of the two weakest tracks on this album. A comical number, which has at least the merit of being catchy if not very up to par with the rest of the album. Way better than 'Down on the Farm' from Breathless, in any case.

'Remote Romance' is the other less good track here, having a bit of a new wave flavor to it. Not a great track, but I enjoy it nonetheless.

Album closer 'Ice' is a Camel classic, a 10 minutes long instrumental showcasing magnificent guitar work by Latimer. Even those who don't like this album love this song.

As you can see I really enjoy this one, a lot more than predecessor Breathless. The production is good and the boys sound like they are having fun. I don't understand the bashing it gets. Different doesn't mean less interesting. In this case, it means fresh and revigorating. A solid four star release, an excellent addition to any prog music collection.

Melomaniac | 4/5 |


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