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Camel - The Single Factor CD (album) cover

THE SINGLE FACTOR

Camel

 

Symphonic Prog

2.64 | 516 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

Guillermo
Prog Reviewer
3 stars After their tour for their "Nude" album in 1981, original drummer Andy Ward left the band due to personal and health problems. So, guitarist Andy Latimer found himself as the only original member who still was in the band. And while he still waited for a time for Ward to recover his health to return to the band (a thing that did not happened even if Ward later found the right medical treatment), he also found that the band still had a recording contract, with the record label waiting for a new album. But the record label's pressures had a new thing: "we want Pop Rock Hit Singles for the eighties". So, Latimer had to record a new album with this idea in mind to satisfy his "employers". So, Latimer went to Abbey Road Studios to record this album in early 1982, and there, working in another studio, he met some of the members of THE ALAN PARSONS PROJECT (Chris Rainbow, David Paton). That band was also recording an album there. So, Rainbow and Paton were asked to participate in this "The Single Factor" album, in fact influencing the sound of some songs that sound a bit like "CAMEL meets THE ALAN PARSONS PROJECT" (but without Alan Parsons's production and recording engineering). In fact, this album is more like a forced solo album from Latimer, recorded and released more as a contract obligation to the record label. He invited other friends and session musicians to record this album.

Is this album bad? No. While it clearly shows in some parts that Latimer was trying too hard to compose and to record commercial Pop Rock songs to please the record label, the album as a whole has some quality, with his guitar playing being very good. The most obvious commercial Pop Rock songs are "No Easy Answer", "You Are the One" and "Heroes". The rest of the songs still have some influences from CAMEL's "old" Prog Rock style, with the best of them being "Selva", "Lullaby", "Sasquatch" (the best of all the songs in this album, and recorded with former CAMEL's original keyboard player Peter Bardens, former GENESIS's guitarist Anthony Phillips playing a 12 string guitar, very good drums by session player Simon Phillips, and bass played by David Paton), and "A Heart Desire / End Peace", with very good vocals arrangements by Rainbow. "Manic" sounds like a Hard Rock song with very good guitars. "Today's Goodbyes" has very good vocals arrangements from David Paton, Chris Rainbow and Andy Latimer, with also good guitars from Latimer. "Today''s Goodbyes" and "Camelogue" sound to me like a bit influenced by FOREIGNER's music and sound.

The eighites were hard times for some Progressive Rock bands like CAMEL, with them trying to please their record labels "new musical ideas for the new decade". This led to CAMEL to finally end their relationship with that record label in 1985, and to try to survive making the music they liked in an more independent way. A harder way to follow, but maybe more satisfying for themselves in musical terms.

Guillermo | 3/5 |

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