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Camel - Mirage CD (album) cover




Symphonic Prog

4.40 | 2779 ratings

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3 stars Although I always enjoy listening to Camel I echo a sentiment that I have read in other reviews about the band. While Camel is very good and their music pleasant it sometimes seems to fall just a bit below the first tier bands in terms of substance, urgency, and prog-ness. It seems like in certain places their music can just blur into the background allowing your mind to drift from active listening. Not always, just sometimes. But like I said, I still enjoy them very much and "Mirage" is no exception.

Andy Latimer is one of the most emotionally fluent, romantic players of guitar and flute. He may lack the bite of some of his contemporaries but he knows how to please that craving we have for graceful leads.

The album opens with "Freefall" which is not my favorite Camel song by a long shot. Something about the vocals just bugs me and I can't explain it. Some nice guitar/bass work in the middle redeems things a bit. I enjoy "Supertwister" more with the amazing lilting flute and drums. The real meat of Mirage though occurs in the final three tracks, "Nimrodel," "Earthrise," and "Lady Fantasy." There is a wealth of Camel magic in these songs. Rich and well played throughout they provide me with an enjoyable listening experience occasionally but again they are compositionally just not as stimulating as some of their contemporaries. "Lady Fantasy" is the album's highlight in my view with the most compelling writing. Absolutely love the melodic lead that kicks in early and crops up throughout. The vocals are reasonably good. There are nice periods of calm and there are some that are actually funky and driving. The track ends with the lovely lead melody heard in the beginning. Not exactly the "Snow Goose" but certainly respectable.

"Mirage" is a recommended title for Camel fans and fans of lush, melodic 70s symphonic that is easy to get into, easy to listen to, and for better or worse not as challenging as other prog acts.

Finnforest | 3/5 |


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