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Camel - Moonmadness CD (album) cover

MOONMADNESS

Camel

 

Symphonic Prog

4.38 | 1531 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

Negoba
Prog Reviewer
4 stars Camel at their Best

In the second tier of classic prog groups sits Camel, a talented group of Englishmen who draw on many of the classic bands of the time. On Moonmadness, the sound has shifted from the Santana of their debut to a distinctively Floydian tone. However, where Pink Floyd were masters of atmosphere and emotion, Camel takes their palette and ups the compositional standard. The instrumental sections are significantly more complex, while vocals take a secondary role. Camel is truly prog where Floyd was a category of its own.

Camel's music is always mellow - slightly behind the beat, snoozy moods, long sustains and reverbs. But hidden in this atmosphere is some very impressive single note lines, guitar- keyboard interplay, and tight drumming. Truly musician's musicians, on this album Camel has perhaps created the prototype of classic prog. Songs like "Chord Changes" and "Lunar Sea" would have a reasonable place in a disc of "This is Prog."

I've come back to this album numerous times, and have always been simultaneously impressed with the instrumental parts and flabbergasted at the uselessness of the vocals. Most of the vocals are processed and monotone, not painful but also adding almost nothing to the songs. There's no surprise why the band had chosen to do a completely instrumental album previously.

What makes Moonmadness my favorite Camel album is the compositions. Each one maintains identity as a song, has some gem of sound to offer the listener. The melodies are better, avoiding some of the awkwardness of even the band's greatest hit "Lady Fantasy" from Mirage. Here the vocal lines act as a layer in small helpings, which is an appropriate use. This was never a band with a great line or hook.

This was another hard to rate album. It is perfect for what it is, but also has its inherent flaws. Four stars but highly recommended. If you get only one Camel album, get this one.

Negoba | 4/5 |

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