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Camel - The Snow Goose CD (album) cover




Symphonic Prog

4.29 | 2108 ratings

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Your Lame Sister
5 stars A concept album that places relatively low goals, and achieves them flawlessly. Now, how many prog albums can boast that achievement?


Camel's style is immediately recognizable: A mellow mix of Pink Floyd, Genesis and the Canterbury scene. Unfortunately, this style suffers from the fact that it was introduced relatively late in prog history, after the release of such genre-defining classics as 'Selling England By The Pound' and 'In The Court Of The Crimson King', and therefore sounds somewhat unoriginal and tired. All of Camel's albums suffer due to this misfortune.

However, while Camel usually understands and 'accepts' this flaw, on this album they really did everything they could to fix it and sound unique, including the removal of vocals from their music and the decision to focus on short, 'pop length' songs, as opposed to the by-now-standard prog epics.

and it works! for the first (and, unfortunately, last) time in camel's history, the band sounds truly fresh, original, unique, and even innovative. this, in turn, allows all of the band's advantages to finally show themselves unhindered, stronger then ever: Barden's carefully constructed melodies, the backbone of the band's sound from day one, reach their peak in both complexity and memorability. Latimer's brilliant lead guitar wizardry, the band's greatest asset, is unleashed in full force on almost all of the tracks, pushing the songs forward without hindering the overall direction. The arrangements are now able to produce the atmospheric soundscapes that had escaped the band on the first 2 albums. the band is inspired and energetic, making all of the songs come alive and grab the listener. Needless to say, the combination of the band's natural mellownes and the new-found focus on short songs eliminates any possible hint of pretensiousness, that had plagued many prog albums, including Camel's first 2 albums.

The songs are mostly short sub-Chapters that help create the 'journey' feel of the the album, but there are also several longer, more important Chapters that stand out: 'Rhayader' is a beautiful mid-tempo folk-rock song that introduces Camel's classic sound to the listener at the beginning of the album. 'Rhayader Goes To Town', on the other hand, is a much more aggressive and bluesy explosion of rock, arguably the most 'un-Camel-ish' track on the album, with all of that dirty guitar work. 'Dunkirk' is another highlight, with it's intense crescendo in the first half and the even more intense blast of lead guitar spectacles on it's second half. 'La Princesse Perdue' is my personel favourite track on the album, starting with a fast and incredibely uplifting guitar solo, and then changing to a beautifull, weeping guitar solo. There's also the opening and closing song, 'The Great Marsh', with it's haunting ghost- like vocals and spooky keyboard sound layers.

All in all, this is a fantastic masterpiece of beauty, one of the biggest in prog history, and a well-earned classic. 5/5

Your Lame Sister | 5/5 |


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