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Camel - Stationary Traveller CD (album) cover




Symphonic Prog

3.45 | 818 ratings

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4 stars One of the most underrated albums of the eighties. By 1984 Andy Latimer is the only member of the original line up. The line up on ST includes Kayak's Ton Scherpenzeel on keyboards and David Paton from TAPP on bass on most of the tracks. This version of Camel sounds slightly different than the band of the seventies. Since the release of Nude the songs are mainly built on the splendid guitar melodies of Latimer. The cover art of this album takes you back to Berlin at the time when the wall was built. Stationary traveller may be a concept album but its concept isn't dominating the music. You can easily listen to the fine songs separatly without digging deep into the lyrics, although the lyrics explain why there isn't an uplifting mood. Not all is sad, "Berlin" and "Long goodbyes" reveal some optimism. Albums that were released during the eighties al have a similar production and this album is no exception. Big drum sounds, electronic drums, repetitive keyboard sounds and rhythmic bass lines are typical for the eighties. "Stationary traveller" is a fine album, not a masterpiece of progressive rock like "Mirage" or "Moonmadness" but still a very decent, enjoyable progressive pop album, one of the better efforts of the band. Songs like "West Berlin", "Fingertips" and "Refugee" may seem rather cold at the first spin but after a while you'll notice a lot of hidden emotion. One of the reasons for this are the vocals of Latimer who's singing abilities has matured a lot when compared to earlier efforts. Fortunately there are some dazzling instrumentals as well like "Pressure points", "Stationary traveller" and "Missing". Though it would take another 8 years (!) to release an album, these instrumentals are similar to the instrumentals on Dust and dreams. Amazing how a song like "Vopos" is able to create an atmosphere of military thread. "Cloak and dagger man" shows the band in a pretty heavy mood with a big symphonic sound and a splendid keyboard solo from Scherpenzeel. Throughout the album the influence of Scherpenzeel is noticeable as he puts some colour to the music. He even wrote one little instrumental which fits in perfectly. The vocals of Chris Rainbow on "Long goodbyes" makes a comparison with The Alan Parsons Project inevitable. This nostalgic song is perfect for closing the album but there's not one song on this album which isn't a good one. The only negative remark I would make is that this album's quite short in length. In the late eighties, I been searching for a cd copy of this album for years. Listening to the album I still know why I kept on searching.
Fishy | 4/5 |


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