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Gong - Camembert Electrique CD (album) cover




Canterbury Scene

3.82 | 358 ratings

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3 stars Gong is a strange band for me. On one hand I think they have a great sense of humour and many parts in their music intrigue me very much, but on the other hand there are parts in their songs that irritate me and keeps me from really liking them. My feelings for this second album Camembert Electrique is just as it was on their debut. Ambivalent.

The overall lyrical concept is cooked up in some stoned minds Im sure, because this is pretty weird and psychadelic. The music is very well played though and there are influences from both rock, Jazz and Canterbury. I think I hear some Mother of Invention too, but maybe its just the crazy humour they have in common. There are some pretty sharp and precise playing that impress me in songs like You Cant Kill Me, Tropical Fish/Selene and And You Tried So Hard, but it can get a bit repetitive at times. I enjoy a song like Mister Long Shanks/O Mother/I Am Your Fantasy but it is mostly the O Mother part I like. There is only one whole song I dislike really and that is Dynamite/I Am Your Animal. Gilli Smyths moaning and whispering irritate me. Whats the point with the moaning. It really annoys me. Fohat Digs Holes in Space also have a way too long and almost ambient intro that I think is a waste of time.

The musicians are outstanding on this album. Im especially impressed with drummer Pip Pyle and I love the stoned vocals from Daevid Allen. There are lots of saxophone playing on the album and sax and flute player Didier Malherbe has to be mentioned here too as he is really gifted.

The production is much better than on the debut and at times its really powerful when Gong lets go.

Camembert Electrique is a mixed album for me and therefore it only deserves 3 stars. There are excellent songs here though that deserves far more, but my overall rating is 3 as Camembert Electrique lacks the last pieces to make a puzzle.

UMUR | 3/5 |


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