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Camel - The Single Factor CD (album) cover

THE SINGLE FACTOR

Camel

 

Symphonic Prog

2.65 | 536 ratings

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AFlowerKingCrimson
3 stars I'll admit I have a soft spot for this album. I first bought this on cassette in a local department store after seeing the band Camel mentioned in a progressive rock mail order catalog at the time. I figured they must be pretty well known among prog collectors since their name kept popping up. Seeing how they were compared to Genesis quite a bit(as in "such and such band is in the Genesis/Camel vein")made me think they must share some similarities which indeed they do but I think both also very much had their own distinct and identifiable sound.

When I popped the cassette in the player I didn't know what to expect. Obviously this album is from a later period and so doesn't sound much like the earlier Camel that was much more typical prog sounding.

So fast foward over 30 years later(yes I'm old(ish))and I listen to this again(the esoteric version from 2009) after just recently buying it(yes, I still buy cds and no I won't apologize for it or pretend to be up on the latest technology). So has my opinion changed? Am I more snobby now and think this album is crappy because it's not prog(or at least as prog)as their earlier output? Actually, no. While I won't pretend this album is in the same league as Mirage or the Snowgoose(the two other Camel albums I bought way back when on cassette tape for the first time in that same department store)it's a very good pop album with some mild prog textures thrown in. You can call it prog pop or prog lite if you want.

Some of my favorites on this recording are: "no Easy Answer" which starts the album and is a nice power pop tune, "heroes" which is a very thoughtful almost ballad like song with a nice chorus, "Selva" which is a nice mellow guitar led instrumental and "Sasquatch" another instrumental which features Anthony Phillips(ex Genesis)on 12 string guitar(Ant is featured on other tracks on this album including on keyboards on two other tracks on here). "Sasquatch" features an almost Alan Parson's like guitar sound(which is interesting considering that Chris Rainbow(who sang with APP) is also guest performer on here). I also liked "Today's Goodbye" which is another solid pop rock tune.

To sum it all up, no this is not a prog masterpiece and only has a few moments(particularly Sasquatch)which harken back to the classic era of the band. However, those who enjoy later Utopia or the Alan Parson's Project(from roughly the same time period) could do a lot worse. Although it obviously shows the band trying to keep up with the times by eschewing their prog past(for the most part)I enjoyed this album all those years ago and still do.

AFlowerKingCrimson | 3/5 |

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