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Camel - Mirage CD (album) cover




Symphonic Prog

4.40 | 2779 ratings

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4 stars Camelīs second album Mirage is an improvement over their debut album. In fact Mirage is together with Moonmadness my favorite Camel album. Camelīs debut held some pretty strong Canterbury influences which are almost gone here on Mirage. The only Canterbury flavour I come across when listening to Mirage are some parts in Freefall, but these are only tendencies.

The music is generally more symphonic prog now with lots of soloing. There are both guitar, keyboard and flute soloes ( or more correctly flute melodies).

Freefall starts the album. Itīs a very powerful tune that I really enjoy. In fact this might be the most powerful tune ever on a Camel album. This isnīt hard though as Camel isnīt the most powerful band in the world. They aim more at subtle and melodic playing.

Supertwister is an instrumental song with beautiful folky flute playing.

Nimrodel another favorite of mine is an epic track with a memorable vocal melody which is something that is a bit unusual for Camel. Their vocal melodies are normally not the most exciting part about their music. There are some great soloing in Nimrodel. I especially think Bardens solo is crushing. Itīs really powerful. Then Andy Latimer also joins in with a great solo and after the mellow middle section with vocals the song becomes very dark and Andy Latimer plays a solo with bite which is something I was missing on the debut. There is lots of feeling in his solo play on Mirage.

Earthrise is the least exciting song here for me. Itīs an instrumental and it gets a bit too long without ever getting downright boring though. Itīs ok and there is a great almost fusion part in the middle that I like.

Lady Fantasy is like Nimrodel a great epic song. It is another favorite of mine on Mirage. Full of melodic sections and soloing.

In the remastered edition from 2002 that I have there are four bonus tracks. The bonus tracks are not part of my rating but they are a nice addition to the original LP tracks. Supertwister and the two songs from the debut Mystic Queen and Arubaluba are live from 1974. There is a good sound on these songs. The fourth bonus song is Lady Fantasy in an original studio mix. I find this superfluous.

The guys in the band have become even better musicians on Mirage than on the debut. As I mentioned before there is bite in their perfomances that was lacking on the debut. Andrew Wardīs drumming is powerful and with Doug Fergusonīs bass this makes a great rythm section. But I must say that it is Peter Bardens and Andy Latimer that have improved the most. The soloing is much much better than on the debut.

The sound quality has also improved from the debut and it is one of those pleasant and warm productions that I love from the seventies. Drums just donīt sound like that anymore.

This is an excellent prog rock album and it is highly recommendable. Sadly Camel didnīt make very many good albums, but you should try this one out even if you think you donīt like Camel. 4 stars is a matter of course for this excellent album.

UMUR | 4/5 |


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