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Camel - Lunar Sea - An Anthology 1973-1985 CD (album) cover




Symphonic Prog

3.91 | 42 ratings

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3 stars Andrew Latimer is a very expressive guitarist, and the highlights of this CD (in my opinion)are those instrumentals which are dominated by the soaring sound of his Les Paul, such as Lunar Sea and Ice: both of these are classic Camel instrumentals, where the guitar is understated to start with, but becomes more and more passionate as the piece progresses, taking the music to a new level of intensity. Superb!

The Snow Goose material is another highlight: it has more of a classical influence than some of the other more jazz-orientated material, and some solid melodies, for example Rhayader.

Instrumentals were Camel's forte as they never had anything approaching a strong vocalist: in fact some of their material starts promisingly, only to be scuppered by half-hearted vocals. To be fair, tracks such as Slow Yourself Down do manage to bear repeated listening and grow on you...

I rather like the songs from their 1980 album Nude, despite their synth-drenched 80s production values: they are relatively well sung (Latimer again) with thoughtful lyrics. It is a shame that the instrumentals Docks or Beaches (from this album) are not included, however Sasquatch is here from the next album (The Single Factor). Cloak And Dagger Man from the Stationary Traveller album is an interesting attempt at a hit single, with a great rhythm!

To be honest, I think alot of Camel's music is a bit directionless, including some of the material here. At times they seem unsure of the sort of band they want to be, unlike their progressive rock contemporaries such as Genesis, Pink Floyd, even Sky, who were probably influenced by Camel as some of their music is similar in style, but generally more succinct. However, every now and then, they produced a thing of real beauty, and it is worth buying this CD for that reason. It cost me 3 from (erm) Tescos and I am certainly not complaining!

jcs | 3/5 |


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