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Camel - Mirage CD (album) cover

MIRAGE

Camel

 

Symphonic Prog

4.38 | 1785 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

frippism
2 stars Ehhhhh 2.5 barely

I must say, that this is probably most overrated album on PA (Why of course 95% of you will disagree). Mirage is Camel's major step into the prog rock genre, and it's a pretty weak one. Let's get right to it:

Freefall: Horrible. Worst song on the album and one of the most annoying prog rock songs in my opinion. The song tries to come off as powerful and intimidating, but it just comes off very weak and forced. I think the most fitting word is awkward. Latimer's guitar (Which is average usually) is just god awful. But the worst aspect of this song is the vocals. I know I know that the vocals aren't supposed to be the most important aspect in Camel, but if you want to sing, do it at least well! I believe that vocals are as an important as anything else (if of course there are vocals) and Latimer's vocals are so dull. It's just frustrating. The lyrics are also rather annoying.

Supertwister: OK. Definitely an improvement over Freefall. A cute (emphasize on cute) instrumental. Nothing special, but at least it's pleasant enough. Some pretty good flute parts by Latimer. Harmless enough.

Nimrodel: Definitely the highlight of the album. The marching band in the beginning is certainly a nice touch. The keyboards by Bardens are very nice, and Latimer's guitar has improvement a lot from Freefall. Now here the vocals, while not perfect, are certainly acceptable. Also the lyrics are very nice. The solos in the middle are also executed pretty well. Overall a great song, which is not a complete masterpiece, but quite enjoyable. Also worth a mention here is Ward's drumming which complements the song nicely.

Earthrise: The return to the mediocre here. Quiet and pleasant instrumental, but the melodies here are too catchy. Pretty forgetful and pretty boring. Though, again, pretty harmless. I must say that Latimer's rhythm guitar playing is pretty repetitive. He's just playing that one chord. It's less of a backbone for the song, and more like annoying cricket that's just making enough noise to annoy you.

Lady Fantasy: Great beginning part, which opens into a very cheese and schmaltzy guitar line. Bardens gives some pretty nice keyboard parts. The vocals are OK, but the how the verses are arranged are really annoying. It sounds like Easy Listening in many parts. The lyrics here are as bad as Freefall. When in the ending They sing: "Oh my Lady Fantasy [Dramatic pause] I love you" I really want to throw up from the schmaltz. That line probably makes the song a whole lot worse. At least Latimer gives an OK solo. The instrumental section is really nice. Ward's drumming is again pretty good.

Overall, I'm really rather shocked to see all these positive reviews. Camel's sound in general in my opinion is very derivative as it is (but that's just my taste), but the songwriting here is also much worse than in Moonmadness or Snow Goose. I just suggest to stay as far away from this if you insist on listening to Camel.

P.S. I must say that as a bassist I was completely unaware of Doug Ferguson's playing. It's really just there. I mean it's not wholly bad, but the only thing it does is provide the backbone to the song.

frippism | 2/5 |

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