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Camel - Rajaz CD (album) cover

RAJAZ

Camel

 

Symphonic Prog

4.05 | 786 ratings

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Rune2000
Special Collaborator
Prog Metal Team
3 stars 20 years after the release of I Can See Your House From Here, the duo of Andrew Latimer and Colin Bass were still at it releasing one of Camel's most popular late career albums.

Rajaz was the first of the two highly acclaimed albums by Andrew Latimer, who was the last of the original band members still trying to uphold the Camel legacy into the new millennium. Since I haven't heard a single Camel album since 1981's Nude, it's difficult for me to say how Rajaz compares to the music that Andrew Latimer's Camel have released during those 18 years. Compared to the band's 70's material, this release sounds like a return to the space escapades of Mirage but with a stripped-down arrangements without the prominent keyboard work by Peter Bardens.

All of these songs have are very slow build and lack the spontaneous spark of Latimer's early work. Still, there is a definite appeal in this new sound since it makes the band sound like an experienced group of musicians who have already been there and just want to make the music that they feel like performing. From this point of view Rajaz does indeed make more sense to me. Unfortunately, I just can't appreciate it on a more personal level since none of these compositions truly reach me with their stripped-down and moody approach. Having said that, it's hard not to get into the groove with Andrew Latimer and Colin Bass whenever they decide to go into an instrumental section, reminding us all of the past days of glory.

To summarize, Rajaz is a highly competent release from Camel that reminds us of the band's glory days of the past without sounding like a complete rehash of the music that we've previously heard from Andrew Latimer. Of course it's not without its flaws since the minimal changes in style and mood do make a tiresome experience towards the end of the album. I'm sure that fans of the early Camel albums who were around during the '70s might enjoy this music more than me since this music just doesn't speak to me.

**** star songs: Three Wishes (6:59) Lost And Found (5:38) The Final Encore (8:07) Sahara (6:42) Lawrence (10:47) Rajaz (8:15)

*** star songs: Shout (5:16) Straight To My Heart (6:24)

Rune2000 | 3/5 |

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