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Camel - The Snow Goose CD (album) cover




Symphonic Prog

4.30 | 2193 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
4 stars Camel's third album, 'The Snow Goose' is an entirely instrumental concept album based on Paul Gallico's short story of the same title. This book, written in 1941, is essential reading if you want to follow what's going on in the album. It's only 40 pages or so long, and I finished it in a morning, but it is a deeply touching tale.

If you've heard Camel's first two albums, you'll note their constant aversion to lyrics, almost as if they don't like singing. It comes as hardly a surprise then that they wrote an entire album without lyrics! The entire feel to this album is different. This album feels more like a classical symphony, though with rock instruments. There are no less than 16 parts to this album, but they could easily be collected together and be known as a 43-minute suite. I won't review these songs track by track, as it is simpler and more effective to view the entire album as a single suite.

There is good news and bad news about this album. The good news is that the whole album is effortlessly beautiful from start to finish. If you wanted to put this record on in the background, prog-bashers have to come up with another excuse than 'It sounds awful!' The bad news though is that, certainly the first time around, the album is not very exciting. This is one of those albums that you have to listen to repeatedly to fully appreciate. The most exciting parts are the beginning of Rhayader Goes to Town and the end of Dunkirk. Many of the tracks, including Sanctuary and Fritha, feel like filler and are quite forgettable. My favourite track on the album is Dunkirk, where the first half builds the tension perfectly until we reach the climactic, exciting second half.

This music is certainly a work of genious, but it's sadly not quite a masterpiece. Those who say this album is 'accessible' are very mistaken. It's really quite tough to get into this strange, beautiful album. It is possibly too 'mature' and 'serious' for proggers who like their music to be just a bit mad. I definitely recommend this album to all serious proggers, but a better place to start would be 'Mirage', as 'The Snow Goose' sounds nothing like the rest of Camel's catalogue. I am reviewing the Camel albums in order, and once again, I am awestruck that in 630 ratings of this album, not one of them is a one-star rating. Camel's music obviously touches everybody, at least at some level!

baz91 | 4/5 |


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