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Camel - Breathless CD (album) cover




Symphonic Prog

3.18 | 970 ratings

From, the ultimate progressive rock music website

4 stars I received a cd for birthday. Unfortunately I already had it (the drawbacks of a vast collection), so I took the record with the receipt and changed it to two half priced cds, one of which was Breathless by Camel.

I had already heard the album, and had really enjoyed it, as I do most music by Camel. I brought it home and gave it a go.

First of all, I realised, that the inner sleeve of my cd leaftlet has The Very Best of Billie Holiday printed on it. I've yet to decide wherther it's a precious rarity or an utter failure. The latter certainly does not apply to the album itself.

In the year 1978 the 80s were there only in the graphics for Camel. The cover states the issues of this album. But the music is original, and exactly what I look for when I listen to Camel.

Breathless is a love song. It's pretty, with the melody and a bit more mainstream sound from Camel. This is a clever song, and I might say, a good one to play to a girl at some point in the evening, when the lights are dim. Certainly, it's apparent where the name Breathless comes from, and the album seems to follow this pattern later on as well.

The second song is extremely groovy. I played it to a drummer friend of mine because of the drumpatterns that sound like the Devil's gone into Mr. Ward. It's brilliant, and though rest of the music's simple, the drumming drives me crazy, or might I say, breathless. Though my friend said it's all right, but he couldn't possibly listen to it for long. In that sense I must agree. The song is so powerful and breathtaking, and I bet Ward's glad it's only 7:17 long.

Listening to Wing and a Prayer I noticed, having jumped over a couple of recommended albums, Camel has certainly gotten more in touch with their lyrical part. And as with this song, a lot of them are sung thoroughly with less instrumental passages that everyone used to love. This song is nice, but I can't say it's anything more than 1/9th of a splendid album. Pretty straightforward.

Down on the Farm made me think of another band called Caravan, with the humorous lyrics and the fact, that it really doesn't fit this album. After some research (back of the album), I discovered it is a song written by their new bassist, Richard Sinclair, who actually was there to create bands such as Caravan and National Health. It's nice to hear Camel too inviting the Canterbury Scene, even though Mr. Sinclair left right after this album. The song: it's about having fun in the farm, with the farmers daughter, drinking pints at the local pub etc. Not something you'd hear from Camel usually, but a good song for those not only into the fusion-rock genre.

Starlight Ride goes to the same cathegory as the 3rd track. It's a pretty song with sentimental lyrics, the dominant instruments are the guitar and the flute. If you fancy a mellow tune after the one before, this one is really welcome. A nice one.

The next one is a return to the traditional Camel, though with a groovy rythm, like from a disco shuffle song like BeeGees, though turned progressive. This song makes you want to tap the table. It's good funk, and I enjoyed the lyrics a lot. Well worth the whole 6 minutes, and my favourite song on this album. Understand the phrase Summer Lightning in your eyes as part of Latimers album of lovesongs and you'll realise how well it fits.

Now, that girl you had there, put your arm around her and tell her, that everytime you hear this song, you think of her. She'll be a bit puzzled first because of the intro with a strange bass patterns, but will soon notice that the story behind the song actually is You Make Me Smile. And be sure to smile. I can see the band playing this song live, and it really makes me want to hear more. At some point I was thinking, this album only gets better and better, and considering the good first track, now we've got 7 good tracks altogether. What's next?

The Sleeper, a soft instrumental piece with Camel-like melodies, that later on grows into a play of skills. This would well fit to a record like Mirage. A very nice song.

Rainbow's End is a common ending tune for an album. A short ballad with no drums again. The lyrics are beautiful again, and I personally like this song a lot.

The album, as I said before, is pretty obviously a collection of love songs with some exceptions here and there to even up the mood. The collection as a whole is well built and the musical virtuosity is apparent again. Richard Sinclair did a great job as a visiting bassist/vocalist. And as you already know, I got all sentimental and so did she. This album is a great addition to everyone's collection. Of course, it's not something you have to own, and that's the only bad thing I can think for it. If you're a fan of Camel, this is pretty essential.

Passionist | 4/5 |


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