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Camel - Stationary Traveller CD (album) cover




Symphonic Prog

3.43 | 700 ratings

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Mr Faust
5 stars After the somewhat failure of The Single Factor, an album I genuinely enjoy, Camel returned to the concept album, after having success with it with Nude, Latimer wrote another semi-rock opera based again on a true and compelling story.

While most would find the Berlin wall and the division and oppression it forced upon the Berlin citizens, hard to convey musically, Camel utilize the growing trend of synthesizers and drum beats to create a dark tone that reflects the depressing story they are telling, and it makes for refreshing and hard hitting music.

Pressure points sets the tone right off the bat, an excellent instrumental with great guitarring and solid synth beats that guide the listener into the dark world of the album, this isn't going to be an album to forget easily.

Refugee has it's 80's singalong quality until we realise what we're singing, not a bad number but a weaker one compared to the rest.

Vopos with a good drum beat and again more great guitar from Latimer, trots along and finishes with a solid guitar solo, not his most memorable but it works well.

Cloak and Dagger Man is perhaps the most easily accessible track, good synth work and a good chorus, that sweeps up the listener as Latimer pulls them along with some fierce guitar riffs.

Stationary Traveller is my Favourite from the album and one of my all-time favourite Camel tracks and also as an instrumental, A fine acoustic guitar melody followed by a pan pipe solo, then a roaring and fantastic guitar solo, that in my mind is Latimer's finest work, shorter than some of his others yet emotionally grasping and acutely symbolises feelings of despair and pain, a dark track, draining, yet addictive, a work of a master guitarist.

West Berlin is the catchiest track, Latimer's vocals and guitar work make it sound something like Dire Straits, so it's almost something of a pop song, but also a very rocking song, again a good chorus, encouraging the listener to sing out again, only to understand the harshness of the narrative.

Fingertips is a melancholic ballad of sorts, yet also inspiring, a curious track as it would later reappear in Camel's live sets some 20 years later, it has charm and feeling.

Missing has some solid drumming and melodic keyboard work complimented by some erratic guitar work, that shapes into some handsome riffs. Some fine piano appears before Latimer returns this time letting loose, Keys return to finish the track.

After Words is a short instrumental featuring something of an Accordion, very mellow but relaxing before the albums end.

Long Goodbyes ends the album very nicely, a simple farewell song ending with a very melodic, simple guitar solo as always full of emotion, yet it is perhaps the happiest track here, 12-string guitar and Ocarina make for pleasant listening, finishing the album on a positive note, literally.

In summation, a fine album with a heavy concept that the music does not fail to live upto, a worthy addition to a decade dominated by pop and producers, it's incredible to see a band like Camel delivering something with substance and style rather than the latter.

Mr Faust | 5/5 |


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