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Camel - The Snow Goose CD (album) cover

THE SNOW GOOSE

Camel

 

Symphonic Prog

4.27 | 1561 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

kenethlevine
Special Collaborator
Prog-Folk Team
5 stars Perhaps in response to critics assailing their vocal deficiencies, the members of Camel decided to produce an all instrumental album and base it on a children's book, initially without acknowledging the book or author, but that is another story. It proved to be their breakthrough album, and with good reason. "The Snow Goose" allows Camel to sport its increasingly skilled compositional and playing skills with a variety of musical hues, and is a simply beautiful album to boot.

Starting from the short opening track, we can hear a difference in Camel's whole attitude, with more of an emphasis on mood setting and less on unharnessed power as was sometimes the case on "Mirage". The thematic approach also allows one to consider individual segments in relation to the whole and not as a work in isolation. For instance, "Preparation" doesn't really have much to it on the surface unless one considers it in light of what is to come, the storm of "Dunkirk", even though I confess to loving its idiosyncratic sounds. The rousing chants of "Migration" have more impact in the context of an otherwise instrumental work. Nonetheless, some themes are clearly central to the goals of the band and stand alone quite nicely, in particular the oft performed "Rhayader/Rhayader Goes to Town" combination that lean on Andy's flutes and guitars, and the gorgeous title track with a melody that is revisited in a more orchestral and epiloguish form in "La Princesse Perdue".

My general bias against instrumental albums taken into consideration, the fact that I can even consider this one for a 5 star rating is sufficient endorsement. Camel conducts a grand lesson in how to create a masterpiece of symphonic progressive rock. Luckily for us, a lot of musicians were listening and are carrying on this rich legacy in their own ways.

kenethlevine | 5/5 |

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