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Camel - Mirage CD (album) cover

MIRAGE

Camel

 

Symphonic Prog

4.38 | 1820 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

infandous
4 stars My first Camel purchase and listen. Based on the strength of this album, I have since purchased nearly every studio album and a couple of live albums. One of the things I like most about Camel is that they do, in fact, progress. They can't be accused of sounding the same from album to album.

This particular album, is very much in the early 70's classic rock style, while veering quite a bit into 70's prog territory. This album and the first one are probably the only two that sound quite similar to each other in their whole discography, though this one is definitely superior to the debut. There is much to love here, especially if you grew up listening to 70's rock.

Barden's organ playing is outstanding on every track, reminding me of Tony Kaye's playing on The Yes Album, but with far more blues and soul leanings (he even sounds like Ray Manzarek from the Doors during Lady Fantasy!). Latimer is starting to sound like the great guitarist he was going to be on future albums, playing some wonderful solos and melodic lines. Not to mention his very nice flute playing on a couple of tracks, most notably Supertwister. And let's not forget the incredibly entertaining drumming of Andy Ward. Doug Ferguson is not exactly a stand out bassist, but he does get the job done.

In fact, the only thing here that makes me hold back a 5th star, is the weak vocals. They border on mumbling in some spots and just seem to be so soft and bland as to almost be pointless. Still, they are not off key or particularly bad, just very weak (this will be an issue for me with many Camel albums, though starting with Moonmaddness they do improve). Also, while Camel has never had particularly strong lyrics, the lyrics for Lady Fantasy are comically bad. Perhaps back in the 70's such phrases such as "Saw you sitting on a sunbeam, in the middle of my daydream" and "Saw you riding on a moon cloud" were really hip and cool, but in the 21st century they just sound ridiculously silly. Still, the actual music for that song is some of Camel's best, with great melodies and guitar and organ parts, and Andy Ward's fantastic drumming.

Overall, a great album worth having for any progger, and probably the most energetic Camel album ever, along with their first one. If you only get one of their albums, make it this one.

infandous | 4/5 |

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