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Camel - Breathless CD (album) cover

BREATHLESS

Camel

 

Symphonic Prog

3.14 | 758 ratings

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thesleeper72
4 stars What to rate this album was very difficult for me personally. I can only pick full numbers, but if I could I would give this album three-and-a-half stars. Breathless is the final album to feature late keyboardist Peter Bardens (although he did appear on The Single Factor) because of tension inside the band. Breathless is also where Camel began their slippery slope into the realms of pop, like other prog bands of the 70s (like Yes and Genesis). The results of prog bands experimenting with pop were either interesting or terrible. Camel somehow manages to fit neatly into the middle.

The title track and You Make me Smile are the one's that worked well. Both of them are short and poppy, yet they maintain the traditional Camel sound. Latimer's flute graces the title track and a thick bass dominates You Make me Smile. However, on the flip side is Wing and a Prayer and Down on the Farm. Wing and a Prayer is just a boring song trying to be a pop hit while Down on the Farm features some rather.... quirky lyrics. You either love the lyrics or hate them. Personally, I don't like them, and the musical sections are not memorable either.

The two songs Starlight Ride and Summer Lightning are rather interesting to me. The former is a short symphonic piece with a classical feel and the later can be best described as "prog- disco". Both of these songs are neither bad nor excellent, their just interesting.

However, this album possesses three crowning jewels that make this album necessary for Camel fans: Echoes, The Sleeper, and Rainbow's End. Echoes can be best described as a culmination of everything Camel's done on their past albums. It is truly one of their best songs. The Sleeper (the first Camel song I ever listened to) starts with an opening that gives you a dreamy, drifting feeling and then becomes an jazz-rock/fusion piece. Rainbow's End closes the album in the traditional Camel sound.

Breathless is an album that is incredibly difficult to rate. While any prog fan will enjoy Echoes, The Sleeper, and Rainbow's End, the other songs are up to debate. However, it is worth it for those three songs, trust me on this one.

thesleeper72 | 4/5 |

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