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Mirage - Tales from the Green Sofa CD (album) cover




Jazz Rock/Fusion

4.00 | 29 ratings

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4 stars This band's name leaves no doubt as to who their foremost influence is, so the question for me is whether Mirage can come up with anything to rival the illustrious English band; is ''Tales From The Green Sofa'' good enough to challenge the pre-eminence of Camel's finest work? It's certainly a worthwhile effort but there's not a whole lot to distinguish these guys from Camel. Lyrics are in English, so there shouldn't be any problem for those with issues about non-English lyrics, and vocals are pleasant if lacking a little in feeling. Emotive guitar slices like a hot knife through buttery slabs of Hammond organ, and the occasional flute contributions further strengthen the Camel comparisons.

Thankfully I didn't go on my first impressions with this album, because ''Tales From The Green Sofa'' really grows on you if you allow for second and further thoughts. So long as you're not looking for originality you'll be fine here, although I do have one or two minor quibbles. Firstly, there are precious few moments to even remotely challenge the listener. However, the members of Mirage demonstrate a notable capacity for melody, so fans of symphonic prog should enjoy the album. Only seldom do they draw on more distant influences though.

''Secret Place (Part One)'', for example, comes to life after its murmuring intro with some spacey Floyd grooves, while ''Gone Margarita'' is arguably the album's jazziest track with chilled-out flute and congas. The title track waxes and wanes with a neat syncopated rhythm underpinning synthesizer and organ flurries, then wah wah guitar and short stabs of harsh organ. And that brings me to my second slight criticism, i.e. the album's lack of variety. The first three tracks basically follow a parallel course of guitar and Hammond duet, some funk-fuelled electric piano, and maybe a bit of acoustic guitar and flute. Jazz moments are definitely at a premium, but overall this is a quality piece of work.

seventhsojourn | 4/5 |


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