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Camel - Rajaz CD (album) cover

RAJAZ

Camel

 

Symphonic Prog

4.06 | 817 ratings

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judahbenkenobi
4 stars A different, but very interesting Camel album. Different, because there's a lot more vocals than usual, with only a couple of instrumental tracks; and the overall pace of the music is slower, and the tone, mellower.

Interesting, because it is not what I expected. Instead of a Middle Eastern sound like the name of the album suggested, most of the songs, especially the guitar work are very bluesy. Of course, there are some Arab-ish sounds every now and then, and some world music influence is definitely felt sometimes. But in general, the guitar, vocals, and lyrics are a nice blues that Andrew Latimer handled very well.

A highlight reminiscent of the early Camel is the opening track, "Three Wishes". It's a very energetic song, actually the only fast-paced track of the album. The rhythm section is tight and solid, and as usual, the guitar leads the melody in a beautiful way. "Rajaz" and "Sahara" are also outstanding, and very bluesy too. "The Final Encore" features very strong and deep vocals by Latimer, and "Straight to the Heart", very emotional, perhaps very personal lyrics and vocalization.

Personally, I give this one 4.44 stars, the maximum number of stars before having to round to five, because as good as it is, it cannot reach IMHO the level of masterpiece, but it's definitely more than merely excellent.

judahbenkenobi | 4/5 |

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