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Camel - I Can See Your House From Here CD (album) cover




Symphonic Prog

2.87 | 617 ratings

From, the ultimate progressive rock music website

3 stars As the seventies slowly came to a close, we saw that many prog-rock bands had suddenly decided to go mainstream. This is not always a bad thing like some may think. Rush, for example, played more radio friendly songs along with making long prog songs. However, many bands did not follow that formula, Camel being one of them.

The transition started in Breathless, yet that album felt more like how Rush did, creating great short songs while making songs that were prog essence. Although the album did have some clunkers (Wing and a Prayer and Down on the Farm) it for the most part remained true to its roots, despite some pop-like elements added. After all, songs like the title track and you make me smile still had a Camel fill.

Not so with this album. Any "pop" songs (I use that term loosely) are pretty much terrible.

The album opens with Wait, and the first twenty seconds of the song actually sound pretty good. But then it becomes awful. It sounds like they were trying to produce a pop-hit with a catchy vocal melody. The only problem is Andrew Latimer, despite being an excellent guitarist and flautist, is not a great singer. Focusing on his voice rather than his music was not a smart idea.

Your Love is Stranger than Mine reflects the style that Breathless and "You Make me Smile have, yet lacks the soul that the latter two have. The album proceeds to Eye of the Storm, a wonderful (yet short) Camel instrumental, that reflects their traditional style. Who We Are was a surprise, as I was expecting a long pop song, but it actually turned out to be a really engaging track. Survival is a short instrumental that sounds like it was ripped from a movie soundtrack.

Hymn to Her is rather hard for me to rate. The instrumental sections are good but the vocal parts are terrible. Again, Latimer is a great musician, but not singer. It is not that he is bad, but he lacks the charisma that others have which is sometimes a huge part in being a singer. The next two songs are the absolute low points of the album: Neon Magic and Remote Romance. The former is everything wrong with seventies music rolled up into one song and the latter features plastic synths and what can only be described as Latimer on drugs and hyper.

Finally, the last song is Ice, a ten-minute instrumental played in the typical Camel style, featuring beautiful keyboards and melodic guitar. It completely makes up for the two terrible songs before it.

Overall, the only essential ones are Eye of the Storm and Ice. Who We Are and Hymn to Her are debatable, but the rest can be thrown away.

thesleeper72 | 3/5 |


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