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Camel - Rain Dances CD (album) cover




Symphonic Prog

3.65 | 1151 ratings

From, the ultimate progressive rock music website

4 stars Camel's fifth album, the first with newcomer Richard Sinclair from Caravan and Mel Collins in a permanent position in the winds.

To me, this album marked a turning point for Camel. The band and the music would never be the same after this, and it would never recover its initial glory. That doesn't mean Camel became a total loss. Apart from "Breathless" and " The Single Factor ", which were a disappointment to me, Andrew Latimer maintained a high level of quality in Camel's albums that didn't reach any significant lows.

"Rain Dances" opens with a powerful instrumental: First Light, which was perhaps an introduction for the listeners to the new kids in town. Very reminiscent of the glorious "Moonmadness" or " Mirage ", it was a very promising beginning.

Metrognome was quite a surprise. Its first notes sounded a little silly to me on first impression, but the music was just matching the funny lyrics. The song evolves into a pure prog composition, a nice guitar solo with an excellent rhythm section and a coda that left me wanting more.

The electric piano and the fretless bass are always enchanting to me, so Tell Me got to me pretty quickly. Sinclair's voice gives truly enticing touches to this sweet ballad.

Highways of the Sun was their first truly pop song. They had made attempts to it early on their debut, but this has been the most commercial track onto this point. Still, the Moog solo around two thirds of the song kind of saves it.

Unevensong lives to its name. It's got its nice bits and its silly bits. A very forgettable one.

On One of These Days I had to double check if my player was still playing Camel. Turns out it was. My first really bad taste of Camel. Some might disagree, but to me that's disco. Maybe because I didn't live in that decade, but to me it doesn't sound too different from the Beegees, the Village People, (alright I went too far) or that guy with a deep, baritone voice, but with a slow tempo; perhaps a subgenre of disco. I don't know, but I don't like it. The keyboard and bass playing are wizard, and the beat side is catchy but just not Prog enough for my taste.

Elke is another mellow yet soaring instrumental featuring the outstanding performance of the great Andy Latimer on guitar and flute, complemented by Brian Eno on keys.

Skylines was composed and completed before Sinclair arrived, so Andy Latimer took the bass duties. There's a poppy feel, but once again, the performance is superb, from Latimer's part, but mostly from Bardens's keyboards. A track that definitely doesn't deserve to be overlooked.

The concluding title track, sounds more like an opener, with its opening crescendo of majestic synths, emotional saxes and plucked strings, but ends the album with a really nice touch.

4 stars, well earned.

judahbenkenobi | 4/5 |


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