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Camel - Breathless CD (album) cover




Symphonic Prog

3.14 | 764 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
3 stars It seems that the mastermind of 'Caravan', Richard Sinclair was unable to bring a magic touch to camel but he was able to help the band create some good, above average music. "Breathless" and "Rain Dances" primarily see Camel taking a completely different course to their preceding albums. Their style of music changed from symphonic experimental music to a more popish type of music. Their new style of music in these albums till retains several classic Camel elements and the poppy side of the music isn't bad. Mel Collins also makes an appearance in the band at this point and he brings with him Saxophones (and Flutes) which were unique for Camel at that time, and still are I suppose. The two flutes in the band allow for two flute parts (really?) and fantastic interplay between Latimer and Collins on guitar and woodwinds respectively.

The quality of music on "Breathless" is reduced in the way of complexity and it lacks the original flow of the first four albums. One example is that the guitar and synthesizer solos seem to be mixed very quiet and they are almost fillers here, while on previous albums they stand out and can be easily heard. The synthesizers and guitar also take on a more conventional sound, the band probably intended on making these changes without knowing what the reaction would be, that in it's self is an experiment.

Some of "Breathless" is good, and some is damn right average, take "You Make Me Smile" for example, it just makes me angry, grrrr. On the other hand songs like "Echoes" and "The Sleeper" are at the other end of the spectrum. "Breathless" has a more laid back feel in the music and nobody strains themselves in any aspects of the album. All the vocals and instruments don't really have serious strain to them, if you know what I mean. This feel is refreshing in ways but it also rises the point that perhaps they weren't fully devoted to the making of "Breathless."

The song "Echoes" basically by its self pays for Breathless and it is the most similar to that of the band's opening period. The guitar and synthesizers stand out here and provides a good ride. "The sleeper" is another good listen; it is all instrumental and puts emphasis on woodwinds and guitar relationships. "Summer Lightning" is the best of the poppy songs and the last three minutes is an almost inaudible guitar solo, but it is a good inaudible solo. "Wing and a Prayer" is okay I guess, catchy, happy and it displays many other desirable features, I like it. "Down on the Farm" is, a rap I guess as everything is spoken. Written by Richard Sinclair and it has his genuine feel. "Breathless" has some nice woodwind melodies. Most of the rest is pop drivel, not very interesting.

1. Breathless (4/5) 2. Echoes (5/5) 3. Wing and Prayer (4/5) 4. Down on the Farm (4/5) 5. Starlight Ride (2/5) 6. Summer Lightening (4/5) 7. You Make me Smile (1/5) 8. The Sleeper (4/5) 9. Rainbow's End (2/5)

Total = 30 divided by 9 (number of songs) = 3.333 = 3 stars Good, but non-essential

"Breathless" has earn its three stars, the stand out songs luckily overshadow the ordinary ones. It is a good listen and I'd recommend it after the first four Camel albums to everyone interested. I have to admit I almost gave Breathless four stars. The End.

Australian | 3/5 |


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