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Camel - The Single Factor CD (album) cover




Symphonic Prog

2.65 | 536 ratings

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Mr Faust
4 stars Yes, they've changed, but the music is still good.

While the late 70s were not a kind time to Progressive rock, the giants of Prog remained and stayed faithful to their musical roots as well as their fans, in amongst the rise of punk & pop bands like Camel, adjusted to conform enough to stay relevant yet also kept true to the music they had and were still changing.

The Single factor is an apt example of how Camel, under the pressure to produce popular pleasing music, crafted an album that delivers simple, short compositions yet gives it's fair share of Prog moments. While several tracks can be ignored and a are worthy of repeated listenings, this is not the album it has been made out to be, Yes, hardcore Symphonic-Prog fans may be dissapointed, and 80s pop lovers might not dance very much, this album is far from Camel's worst, they aim not for great heights, nor for the bottom of the barrel, and they succeed admirably.

The first four tracks are standard attempts at pop, radio accessible songs, none too terrible to listen, yet at the same time nothing to prick the ears at. Selva is the best track a smooth ambient guitar instrumental, perhaps too short, but is reminiscent of Pink Floydian style of music. Sasquatch the most popular track, delivers excellent and aggressive guitar work as well as melodic and rhythmic keyboards, not to mention a very groovy bass track.

The rest follows in a similar vein to the albums opening, however the quality is much better and the final track "End Piece" is a sweet final page to an uneven yet pleasing album.

On the whole, this deserves more credit than it has been given, it is not in the same league as other Camel albums as it is a different type of album, I agree Camel's best work came in the form of longer suites of music and also where the music revolves around a concept, but I can't deny that I enjoyed The Single Factor more than I anticipated, considering how harshly it's been treated.

Mr Faust | 4/5 |


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