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




Symphonic Prog

2.87 | 620 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
2 stars Camel is still looking for a new style. Actually, as far as I am concerned, they will reach a good quality level again much later with "Dust & Dreams but that's another story.

Some major line-up changes for this album : exit Peter Bardens (a founding member) and Richard Sinclair. Richard suggested either his cousin or Jan Schelhaas both from Caravan to replace Bardens for the supporting tour. This rang the bell of Andrew who will say : "I suddenly thought using two keyboard players would be a great idea because we'd be able to do many more adventurous things. At one stage I did think of calling the band "Caramel" ! (hopefully he only thought of this) !

The use of Caravan members was rather a logical step : both groups were moving into similar circles. Both sounded very British. Andrew again : "I always wanted to keep the music very English because I didn't feel it was worth competing with the Americans. At one stage, Peter wanted us to be a Santana-type band" (it is true that some of their numbers do sound as Santana).

"Wait" is not a bad opener. At times, it seems that I am listening to the good old Camel again. With "Your Love Is Stranger Than Mine" we get the same poor pop / disco tune that were already available on the previous album. Dispensible and pointless. "Eye of the Storm" is a soft piece of music like they could have produced in their earlier days : it is enjoyable.

"Who We Are" brings us back to the crappy stuff while the transistion classical "Survival (1'12") could have been avoided as well.

"Hymn to Her" is above average (but that's not very difficult) : nice melody, good arrangements (vocals and instrumentals). Another bottom is reached with the next two songs "Neon Magic" and "Remote Romance" (level of "Breathless").

But of course, there is "Ice" : a brilliant Camel instrumental full of emotion and inspiration. Latimer's guitar work is fabulous. He probably reached here the emotional level of Hackett in "Firth of Fifth" or Carlos Santana in "Samba Pa' Ti or "Song Of The Wind. Over ten minutes of the best Camel ever and quite surprisingly on this album. AMAZING.

Although this album is not as poor as "Breathless", I would suggest you to avoid spending your money on this one, just for "Ice". Instead, you should get hold of their live "Camelitis" or "Rajaz tour in Chile" : there is a great version of this song (the comparison with Steve and Carlos is even stronger because this version will be more electric guitar-oriented). Both albums were available for reviews a little while ago, but apparently were withdrawn from this site. Too (semi-)bootleg related, I guess. So, to remain in the official catalogue, you'll have to stick with "The Paris Collection" and "Never Let Go" which both feature "Ice" as well.

Two stars.

ZowieZiggy | 2/5 |


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