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Camel - Breathless CD (album) cover

BREATHLESS

Camel

 

Symphonic Prog

3.14 | 758 ratings

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Evolver
Special Collaborator
Crossover & JR/F/Canterbury Teams
2 stars 1978. When record executives filled with white powder mistook their ability to hobnob with celebrities, while raking in millions from fans of cheaply produced punk and disco, as a sign of genius. So the edict was passed down: complex, challenging music must be ridiculed, and eradicated from the major labels.

Don't get me wrong, Camel on this album did keep a small amount of their prog roots, more than I have sometimes accepted by other artists as a member of the Crossover team. But up against any of their previous albums, this one is a disappointment.

The greater involvement of Richard Sinclair adds more of a Canterbury feel, and Mel Collins, of course, brings some elegance to the wind and reed parts, but with one exception, the songs are a too laden with simplistic, forgettable composition, and unremarkable lyrics.

The nadir is Summer Lightening, which might have been tolerable had they not had Andy Ward back the song with an insipid drumbeat, popularly known in those days as "the disco suck".

The one bright spot is The Sleeper, the only throwback to the band's glory days. A great track, a good reason for the prog fan to pick up a copy of the album, but only at a very good price.

Evolver | 2/5 |

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