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Camel - The Single Factor CD (album) cover




Symphonic Prog

2.65 | 536 ratings

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4 stars Honestly, I don’t understand people sometimes… This work has been derided so much that if I was Andy I’d shed lot of tears. Pop, commercialism, sellout… What pop? which sellout? Do you really think that taking mellower direction means selling out? No, there is big difference between pop (in it’s bad meaning of course) and what Camel did in this album. It’s Genesis that went POP, with their albums in 1981 and especially with 1983 one (Invisible touch is somewhat better despite containing In Too Deep…), which could hold a record of unexpressiveness.

So this album is more accessible, but it does NOT influence the quality of music. Alright, let’s go track by track:

1. No Easy Answer – A straightforward song, but still decent. Wish it was longer. The guitar solo that fades out could have been developed especially in hands of Andy. 2. You Are The One – Very good one, especially the tempo and mood change in refrain. Andy has a natural gift of doing such things. 3. Heroes – Brilliant, nothing more to say. Guys form Alan Parsons Project sing here with great passion. I love APP… And I love this song. 4. Selva –Beautiful, melancholic… When I paint Selva’s picture described by this piece in my mind, she turns out to be beautiful. 5. Lullabye – Very short. Can’t call it a filler ‘cause it fills only fifty seconds. 6. Sasquatch – That’s indeed very sentimental moment in this album, because it features Pete Bardens, a former member of Camel. And he does great job here. Like in good old Camel days… Superb. 7. Manic – Hard Rock from Camel! Energy plus catchy melody and good depressive lyrics. And then it suddenly becomes prog., Good , VERY GOOD. 8. Camelogue – A melancholic one. A kind of Camel autobiography. Good tune. 9. Today’s Goodbye – Well, this song is so-so. Not that is bad, but it looks like a track from Breathless or I Can See Your House From Here. 10. Heart’s Desire/End Peace – These Are separate tracks on CD, but it’s better to review them as whole. This is typical Camel ending, warm, mellow, ambient. 11. You Are The One (Single Edit) – It’s bonus track on CD. I think (maybe I’m mistaken, I don’t know) it’s only one song from this album issued as a single, because If there were more, there would be more bonus tracks. So It shows again that this album was never meant to chart a hit.

Although Andy was left alone from Camel’s original line-up here (Don’t count Bardens in Sasquatch), The Single Factor features many great musicians: Anthony Phillips (ex-Genesis, interesting he plays keyboards here whereas in Genesis he was known as guitarist) , Dave Paton, Chris Rainbow (both APP) just to name a few. There are four keyboard players and it makes album really interesting, but absence of andy Ward on drums is a problem we can’t ignore. His exceedingly rhythmic style would make songs like No Easy Answer, You Are The One and even Sasquatch sound better.

To put it short mellow but very good album, and definitely not “Pop”.

Four stars with clear conscience.

Thandrus | 4/5 |


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