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Camel - Mirage CD (album) cover




Symphonic Prog

4.40 | 2778 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
4 stars This album was my introduction to Camel, and there has never been a second thought regarding whether my money was well-spent. The only downside is that this album set the bar so high that even some of their later quality albums would never be able to meet this high, rocking, creative standard. Here's a brief song-by-song breakdown:

Freefall. The fact that this killer single was never introduced to me by classic rock stations only serves to further lower their usefulness in my mind. It's a shame, because hearing just this song earlier in life would have turned me into a Camel fan years earlier. Better late than never, I suppose. Latimer turns in a nice groove on guitar, and Ward SMOKES on the drums.

Supertwister. A mellow, jazzy, flute-driven track to cool off after Freefall and set up Nimrodel.

Nimrodel. Let the prog begin! A marching band mix leads into an easy mellotron intro, followed by the band kicking it up a notch with a rocking fuzz organ/keyboard solo, finished off with some spacey guitar over a groovy baseline. This was my first glimpse of Camel's ability to effortlessly switch tempos and time signatures without feeling forced--the music flows very well and is never repetitive.

Earthrise. A jazzy intro leads to an absolutely rocking and frenetic middle section of guitar and synthesizer, followed by a mellow refrain to conclude. Basically all the positives of Nimrodel, with an extra rocking kick by the rhythm section of Ferguson on bass and Ward.

Lady Fantasy. To be honest, I was expecting a bit more from this song, based on its length, the surprising quality of the songs that preceeded it, and the high praise heaped upon it by reviewers here. Not that this is a bad song by any means (far from it!). I just think it may get a bit more attention to the deficit of other songs on the album. A well structured song, with great melodies, and of course rocking sections that only Camel could offer. This may be the only part of the album where the vocals detract a bit for me, but the part where they really cut loose toward the end makes up for this liability and more!

Varied, high-quality compositions, and performed by one of the tightest bands you will hear. Mirage is a solid listen throughout and ages quite well--this will remain in my changer for the forseeable future. If you prefer your prog to center around rock (and not pretentious themes or multi-layered arrangements), then Mirage is a must!

Flucktrot | 4/5 |


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