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Camel - Rain Dances CD (album) cover




Symphonic Prog

3.62 | 927 ratings

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4 stars I've been navigating Camel's rather massive studio output of late, and was dreading all the material between Moonmadness to Nude. I know, very well and keenly, what the end of the 70's meant for many prominent prog bands. As it is, Breathless fell so short of my expectations that I skipped over I Can See Your House From Here entirely. I suspect that I'll come back to it at some point. However, Rain Dances is a beast of different stripe. I put it on with some apprehension, and was more or less completely blown away.

The energy on this disc is just so there. So often, when a band interjects light, jazzy elements into their sound, they lose something vital. I'm thinking Caravan's Waterloo Lily (which is fitting, considering Richard Sinclair's presence on this release); the band's greater energy dissolves into sax interludes and long, winding guitar noodling. However, Camel defies both bland jazzification and the overtly poppish, serving up another moving selection of songs. The only complaint I can voice is that I wish the vocal tracks weren't clumped together at the beginning of the album. I tend to get a little distracted when an instrumental track flows into an instrumental track flows into another instrumental track etc., but this is a purely personal preference. I also have a good deal of affection for the admittedly radio-friendly Highways of the Sun, which is the most listenable slice of commercialized prog I've ever heard.

A worthy follow-up to Moonmadness, if not quite as stark and compelling. Four stars.

Lozlan | 4/5 |


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