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Camel - Rain Dances CD (album) cover




Symphonic Prog

3.60 | 874 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
4 stars This is, in my opinion, a grossly underrated album. Sure, it's a bit more commercial than Camel's previous works, but not nearly as commercial as their Parsons Project sound-alikes from the eighties. The album has a couple of strong points in its favour. First, the new lead vocalist is Richard Sinclair (ex-Caravan), a wonderful, rich, classy singer who is also a fine bass player. Second, the songs are generally very strong and catchy, but with enough keyboard and guitar virtosity from Bardens and Latimer to provide that proggy sheen. "Tell Me" is the band's finest ballad, a gentle, spacy tune featuring heartbreakingly beautiful vocals from Sinclair. In fact, the wide use of string-synth on the album gives it a delightfully airy sheen that strangely works without conflict with some of the more jaunty jazzy aspects provided by Mel Collins on sax, flute and clarinet. "Unevensong" and "Metrognome" are very melodic tunes that I find myself humming for days after listening to the LP. The second side ends with several moody instrumentals (with help from Eno on one) that verge occasionally on ambient music. To me Rain Dances features the best of both old and new Camel, a strong combo of good playing, great melodies and an innocent sense of striving to achieve beauty, which is why I love Mr. Latimer's work in the first place. Lovers of classy, gentle prog really ought to get this one.
Heptade | 4/5 |


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