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Camel - Stationary Traveller CD (album) cover

STATIONARY TRAVELLER

Camel

 

Symphonic Prog

3.35 | 483 ratings

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Seyo
Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator
2 stars The 1980s were generally not much celebrated decade amongst the prog rock community (if you are not a neo-prog lover) with good reasons - many prog giants produced their worst in this period! It's enough to mention GENESIS ("Abacab"), YES ("90125"), JETHRO TULL ("Under Wraps") or PINK FLOYD ("The Final Cut") in order to comprehend the size of musical downfall they fell into.

CAMEL, although never in the "big league", also fell into the trap. And in their case it was called "The Single Factor". Worse than that they could hardly get, so Latimer (until now the only remaining original member) decided try something new. Well, nothing really new could you expect from the band who was largely recycling and repeating the sound of the first four CARAVAN-influenced albums, never bothering to break into the unknown, but one always hope...

Alas, the post-New Wave and synth-pop took their tolls and it is more than evident when listening to "Stationery Traveller". For some reason, Latimer and CAMEL continued to make "conceptual" albums and I fail to understand the point. As mostly instrumental band, CAMEL at this point could not offer any fresh and interesting ideas so as to hold a listener's attention. This album is overall a sort of "themed" collection of mediocre-to-awful techno-pop songs, occasionally interrupted with listenable instrumentals. Latimer is very capable guitarist, no doubt, but his playing is often burdened with mannerism and predictability.

The best moments on this album (which in no way I would recommend to any decent compilation of CAMEL) are two instrumentals, the opening "Pressure Points" and "Missing", and the highly untypical song called "Vopos". The latter is a remarkable dark techno pop that would nicely fit on a DEPECHE MODE or ULTRAVOX album and it contains even hints of what the celebrated ex Yugoslavian champions of alternative/post-punk/neo-psych rock EKATARINA VELIKA would make in the mid 1980s. Yes, you understood me right - the best track on "Stationery Traveller" is a synth-pop with techno drum machines, silky keyboards and synthetic bass! Enough?

Personal rating: 1,5/5 PA rating: 2/5

Seyo | 2/5 |

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