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Camel - Breathless CD (album) cover




Symphonic Prog

3.15 | 732 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
3 stars Camel - Breathless (1978)

When reading a new review on this album I suddenly realized I haven't written one myself on this debatable Camel-album. I know the album is generally seen as one of the weakest of the band, and there's a good reason for this.

First of all.

This album has little progressive undertones, which is a pity. The second track, Echoes, is however one of Camel's best long tracks. The instrumental parts are all very good, the combination of the heroic guitar themes and the superb bass-lines is a blessing. Other tracks are often poppy, ballad-like or a Canterbury-styled with soft jazz undertones. Even disco influences can be found in one song.


This album has quality. Ok, the prog heydays are over, but Camel remains a good band in this stage. The quality can't be found in technical achievements (except for the great solo's of Latimer), it can't be found in harmonically challenging composition, but it's there. Some of the songs like Rainbow's End, Breathless and Starlight Ride are really charged with emotional energy. All stand out as memorable songs with beautiful song-writing. Some other tracks are downright poppy, like the positive Wing and Prayer (it does make me smile) and You make me smile. Still, once I've accepted this is just another band then years earlier, I think it's at least good pop. Summer Lightening has disco influences, but acceptable song-writing and a perfect extended guitar solo. Down on the Farm is a funny track with a progressive intro and a poppy lyrical theme which is accompanied with sounds that fit with the lyrics. The Sleeper is an instrumental with interesting jazz-influences and a wind-section by Collins.


Perhaps this is not an excellent Camel album, but It can carry you away with it's positive, emotional and sometimes feel-good mood. It somehow just works. When the record is finished (after Rainbow's End) I just feel happy and peaceful. Let this be your motivation to buy this record and don't expect to much of it. If you like the poppy side of Canterbury, this could also be a good addition to your collection. I'm giving it three stars, but I sympathize with those who rated this album higher due to it's emotional value.

friso | 3/5 |


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