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Camel - The Snow Goose CD (album) cover

THE SNOW GOOSE

Camel

 

Symphonic Prog

4.27 | 1607 ratings

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Gatot
Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator
4 stars Looking back the history, this album should be read as CAMEL music inspired by "The Snow Goose". Why? This concept album was composed with a reference to Paul Gallico's Snow Goose. Right after the success of "Mirage" which stayed at Billboard's Top 200 for a creditable 13 weeks peaked at 149, the band brainstormed the idea of making an acclaimed literary piece concept album. Peter Bardens voted for Steppen Wolf's but Ferguson and Latimer proposed Paul Gallico's. So the band created the music that revolved around The Snow Goose. Unfortunately, their record label failed to sign a deal with Gallico's publishers in the hope of obtaining official blessing for the project, ideally having the author pen a sleeve note and possibly arrange a tie-in between album and tome. That's why this tribute to our feathered friends had its title prefaced "Music Inspired By" and remained wholy wordless. [sleeve note].

Nevertheless, the streams of music featured in this album is a good one to enjoy and you may have a rewarding experience throughout some tracks. It starts off with an ambient "The Great Marsh" (2:02) which to me personally sounds like an opener for the whole atmosphere of the album. No one would argue that "Rhayader" (3:01) is an excellent track which has powerful melody combining flute, guitar and organ performed in classical influence music with medium tempo. This song has characterized the seventies music altogether with other common songs from Genesis or Yes or ELP or Pink Floyd. I used to associate this song with "Bouree" by Jethro Tull at that time because both of them are flute-based music. "Rhayader Goes To Town" (5:20) is a logical follow- up to Rhayader as it brings the music into faster tempo with great combination of guitar and organ solo with energetic beats. These two songs must be enjoyed in its entirety.

"Sanctuary" (1:05) and "Fritha" (1:19) are songs that I consider as bridges that connect to title track "The Snow Goose" (3:12) which contains guitar solo augmented with long sustain organ in the vein of Jan Akermann of Focus. Cool guitar-based instrumental. "Friendship" (1:44) is a bit boring exploration of keyboard / organ whicch may have more meaning if we can associate with certain part of the story - say our goose was running away or swimming quickly . things like that. Otherwise, it's a meaningless bridge. "Migration" (2:01) brings the music into up-beat style followed nicely with a cool quiet passage "Rhayader Alone" (1:50). "Flight Of The Snow Goose" (2:40) explores Bardens' keyboard virtuosity followed with good guitar fills that bring the melody of the music combined with a bit spacey keyboard work.

"Preparation" (3:58) is to me like a theme song that brings the introduction to the next track "Dunkirk" (5:19) with the use of Hammond organ as basic rhythm section plus some howling guitar work followed with guitar solo. The song is dominated with keyboard work even though guitar fills some parts and serves as melody in some other parts. It's a good track. "Epitaph" (2:07) and "Fritha Alone" (1:40) are bridges to upbeat music with keyboard solo in "La Princesse Perdue" (4:44). Again, I can smell a similarity with Focus music, especially the guitar part. "The Great Marsh" (1:20) concludes the album with an exploration of nature sounds .

Overall, through this album the band has demonstrated their capability to maintain their creation on par excellent with their previous album "Mirage". The album offers good combined work between organ and guitar performed in various styles. The music is cohesive to support a concept album. I think this album should be "in" any prog collection as it was one of the icons in the seventies that anyone should not miss. Recommended. Keep on proggin' ..!

Peace on earth and mercy mild - GW

Gatot | 4/5 |

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