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Camel - Harbour Of Tears CD (album) cover




Symphonic Prog

3.75 | 620 ratings

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4 stars Five years. Yes, five years between the last Camel studio effort and this one. Of course, in the meantime Camel released the wonderful live album "Never Let Go" (their best so far IMO).

"Dust & Dreams" showed significant improvement with earlier production (from "Rain Dances" till "The Single Factor"). So, will the story be repeated ?

This other concept album about the Irish immigration to the US is a great come back. Cobh, the port of embarkment to the US was called the harbour of tears (hence the title ...).This album is really on par with the best of their early work. It is also an homage to Andrew's father who passed away in 1993. In 1994, Andrew went back to the studio to find a bit of consolation in music.

Therefore, he puts all his heart, feelings and love into this effort, and one can definitely feel it. Emotion sits around every corner of it. Great melodies, very inspired and emotional guitar playing from Latimer. IMO, it is the best Camel album so far (even topping "Moonmadness").

As far as emotion is concerned, listen to "Harbour Of Tears", "Send Home The Slates" or "Watching The Bobbins" which is a pure beauty. Even a short number like "Under The Moon" is vibrant.

Actually most of the album transmits a very high intensity and a gorgeous feeling. I guess this is called : love. In that sense "Eyes Of Ireland" and "Running From Paradise" (obviously dedicated to Andrew's father) and "Coming Of Age" are a fantastic example. Great tracks. On the latter, we'll get some great fluting (one must think that the time machine is heading backwards - what a great feeling) !

Latimer's guitar is magic. It can only be compared to Carlos Santana in terms of emotion and feeling. The similarity will even be more obvious in "Rajaz", but this is another story.

Although vocals have never been a strong points for Camel (as for Santana), the fact that there are more lyrics than usual on this album makes it more interesting and easier to follow.

When I saw the track list, I was eager to listen to the closing track. Gosh ! Twenty three minutes. Is this the greatest epic Camel song ? Well, not really.

Latimer is absolutely fabulous in the first "classic" part of the song (which lasts for about six minutes and a half). The charming voice of the intro coming back as an "Au Revoir". Then we get about sixteen (16) minutes of the sound of ocean waves... It is wonderful at night, when you're going to fall asleep but it is not the type of track you listen to in its entirety very frequently. Of course, the sea was an important factor for these Irish immigrants, but one would have expected such an interlude from Tangerine Dream than from Camel.

Since the current technology allows to do this pretty easily, I have just edited it and make it a nine minute song. Sorry Andrew... I will rate this album four stars. Great work. But the best is still to come ...

ZowieZiggy | 4/5 |


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