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Camel - Stationary Traveller CD (album) cover

STATIONARY TRAVELLER

Camel

 

Symphonic Prog

3.43 | 700 ratings

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iluvmarillion
4 stars I absolutely adore two of the songs off this album, the title track featuring a beautiful guitar solo from Andy Latimer and the closing track, Long Goodbyes. While the other songs on the album aren't quite as strong, this is a vast improvement over their previous effort, The Single Factor.

The album concept is a theme of fleeing East Berlin for the West and the feeling of being a refugee without leaving your home (hence Stationary Traveller). The opening track Pressure Points is a cacophony of instruments including guitars and synthesizers which ends abruptly, unfortunately because it would have been so much better with a few extra bars added in.

Vopos begins with some atmospheric synthesizers that reminds me of David Bowie's Low album, then goes into a rhythmic keyboard pattern before bursting into electric guitar. Chris Rainbow does vocals on two tracks, the fast paced keyboard piece, Cloak and Dagger Man and Long Goodbyes. The title track isn't unlike the way Genesis's Firth Of Fifth develops. It begins quietly with the main piano theme, then acoustic guitar joins in followed by pan flute and finally you get this gorgeous electric guitar that sails over the top of everything.

West Berlin, which is largely keyboard and drums, has a catchy chorus and this is followed by Fingertips which has the best lyrics on the album. It builds to some typical Mel Collins sax playing.

Some songs are too long and don't know where to stop. Long Goodbyes is one of those songs that seems to be over too soon. It begins with synthesizer then bursts into the main chorus, then breaks back to the starting theme, then back again to the chorus before it wraps into some beautiful Latimer electric guitar playing and piano chords at the end.

Camel are one of those bands who simplified their approach to a more commercial, synthesizer based sound in the 80's and while not reaching the heights of their classic 70's albums like Mirage and Moonmadness, they at least managed to maintain a high standard of work and Stationary Traveller is their next best album after Nude from the 80's.

iluvmarillion | 4/5 |

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