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Camel - The Snow Goose CD (album) cover




Symphonic Prog

4.29 | 2109 ratings

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4 stars With The Snow Goose, Camel deliver one of the most beautiful albums out there. And this in 1975? The sound is so full and lively that Camel have really achieved something special with this album.

Given the ongoing debate about whether this album is a masterpiece, I will have to side with those that believe it is not. Why? Well, first off, I have to say that I could care less about the story. Along with that, I could also care less about whether the album is loyal to the story--I just care about the music. My take has long been that The Snow Goose gets off to a fantastic start, but things REALLY drag on the B side (though it is not without highlights).

For me, this first six tracks from one of my favorite series of songs, with great transitions and gorgeous playing. The mysterious intro (The Great Marsh) really sets things up for the Rhayader tracks, full of tempo changes, keyboard flourishes and interesting melodies. Sanctuary and Fritha slow things down, setting up the absolutely breathtaking title track, highlighted by the Gilmour-esque playing of Lattimer. (I only use the comparison as a point of reference--Lattimer is certainly as talented as Gilmour in my book.)

Then things really get boring, with tracks like Preparation that go nowhere and do little musically. The only songs after the first six that I really look forward to are Dunkirk (where Lattimer cuts loose a bit for an extended jam), La Princesse Perdue (as high quality as any track on the album), and Great Marsh reprise to tie the album to a close in a nice fashion.

The highlights are certainly good enough to warrant your money and attention, but things for me are maddeningly inconsistent on The Snow Goose. Respect the creativity, production and musicianship, but don't expect too much from the less interesting parts.

Flucktrot | 4/5 |


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