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Camel - Rajaz CD (album) cover

RAJAZ

Camel

 

Symphonic Prog

4.04 | 605 ratings

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AléxandrosDemos
5 stars Hello everyone, this my first comment/rating in PA, i have visited and made use of this great page since 5 or 6 years ago, but this is the first time that i really feel the urge to post my opinion. I must say that just recently i had time to really hear the entire "Rajaz" album, and i was blown away. For me, Rajaz is their Magnus Opum, and i will explain why i think so. I know here there are die-hard fans of the great "Camel trilogy" (Mirage-Snow Goose- Moonmadness), which are, in my opinion, great of course, but, if i had to choose just one Camel disc (for a desert island), that disc should be Rajaz. I think those die-hard fans will find hard or impossible to choose Rajaz over their beloved trilogy, and i can understand why. There´s always a "nostalgic feeling" for music of the past. Some fans grew up hearing Camel´s albums, the best of which are, of course, the "trilogy", hence it would be very hard for them to "replace" those nostalgic feelings with a "new disc" (even when by now it is not so "new", this disc has more than a decade). I discovered Camel less than a decade ago, i heard "Mirage" and Moonmadness, which were great, but never explored other records of them. Then i heard Snow Goose and i thought it was great also, explored some of their 80´s sound, and didn't liked it (as a lot of Camel fans) , and just recently i gave me the opportunity to hear Camel 90´s sound and their (until now) lat record (A nod and a wink). So by now i have heard all their discography, but as it can be see, i haven't grow up hearing them, which, i think, give me enough "objectivity" (if we can talk of objectivity in music taste), to rate their production based on music alone, and not in evoked memories (we tend to associate music -and it is the greatest thing we can do- with past memories and experiences). Saying this now i can (or maybe i really cant) explain the emotions it produce in me. Some say that this is not a concept album, but in fact i think it is, the subject being "life and death". Latimer seems to respond to himself more than 20 years after, in Moonmadness "air born" song he sings "Don't know where you'll go when you die", and he ends that great track saying "You'll be back again", as a young trying to convince himself , as a young who really cant see death face to face, cause it is "very far", so he ends the song with a optimist message to himself. He is trying to convince himself. In Rajaz, even if Peter Bardens didnt participate in it, i have the feeling that Latimer was singing to him (as Pink Floyd "Shine on you crazy diamond", Barret wasn't part of the group, but Barret "spirit" is all across the song). Specifically the songs "The last encore" and "Rajaz", are a last goodbye. "The last encore" is a death march, haven't you heard? Latimier is not young anymore, he has a beautiful but sad feeling. No more "you´ll be back again", no, he just accepts the fade and let go. I don't know if Latimier knew about Bardens condition (or even if Bardens knew), but i think that he at least foresee it. The song "Rajaz" is the last goodbye, just letting go so he sings "The souls of heaven are stars at night. They will guide us on our way, until we meet again another day.". Rajaz disc really don't have technically greatness, it is pure emotion, and in its seemingly simplicity, it hides a sad and beautiful meaning. I know this interpretation of mine will make shake the heads of a lot of you, thinking that i stepped out the line, but i cant really put in words (even less in english, which is not my mother language), how omnipresent i felt the theme of life and death in this cd, and what raw emotions it waked in me. This is Camel Magnus Opum, one of humble simplicity, of melodic grandeur, of last goodbyes, not only to Bardens, but to his own youth and life. That´s why the center theme is the desert, the most evocative nature representation of life and death, at the end what was mud will be dust. I truly needed to share this feelings, i hope i didn't "stepped out of line". When hearing this whole record, feel, just feel.
AléxandrosDemos | 5/5 |

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