Artists | Issues | CD Reviews | Interviews | Concert Reviews | DVD/Video Reviews | Book Reviews | Who We Are | Staff | Home
 
Progressive Rock CD Reviews

Camel

I Can See Your House from Here

Review by Scott Prinzing

This is an album I purchased based on its somewhat controversial cover, featuring a “crucified” astronaut floating in space looking down on Earth.  I later learned that Camel was part of the Canterbury scene that produced Caravan; the two bands even shared a few members through the years.  It turned out to be much more commercial than I’d expected, especially for a band featuring two keyboardists.  The lyrics are surprisingly domestic for a prog band, mostly about romance and relationships, rather than more cerebral topics like fantasy and metaphysics favored by many other bands of the genre. 

There are a few very strong tracks on this collection, but I think it takes second place to some of their earlier more progressive works like the all-instrumental, Music Inspired by The Snow Goose album.  It’s definitely worth a listen, though

Track by Track Review
Wait

The strong opening track is very commercial but packs a good prog instrumental wallop.  The chorus and harmonies are reminiscent of ELO or even Sweet.  The lyrics deal with gambling: “You're looking nervous at the dealer / Money goes like sand / Slipping through your hands.”

Your Love is Stranger Than Mine

As commercially accessible as the previous track, Mel Collins, who has worked with the band on and off, provides a punchy alto sax solo.  You may find yourself with the catchy chorus in your head for days, though.

Eye of the Storm

This one is a mellow instrumental as calm as one might expect to find it in the storm’s eye.  It’s surprisingly less complex musically than the first two tracks.

Who We Are

This starts out as an upbeat song about a less than upbeat topic, life on the road.  Once the lyrics come in, it gets a bit more contemplative-sounding, almost like a 10cc ballad:  “Wake-up calls in the morning / The empty night fades away / You're still there, I'm still faking / Words I always meant to say.”

Survival
Side two of the original vinyl opens with this instrumental written by guitarist Andrew Latimer and performed by the orchestra.  It’s a very cool piece of music, indeed.
Hymn to Her

“You are the giver / Me I never try / Now we're together / Still I wonder why.”  The instrumental passage picks up the tempo and sounds more like a Saga workout, before returning to the sweet-harmonies of wondering “Why don't we know / And why don't it show?”

Neon Magic

Sounding a bit like an early Styx song, this one has more energy to it.  Latimer even lets loose with a guitar solo.  Lyrically, it gets a bit more streetwise:  “Show off their colours / For some local fame / That's the name (of their) game / Acting cool, out of school / You're the same.”

Remote Romantic

Speaking of Styx, this song has a programmed bass line that is a bit like “Too Much Time on My Hands,” with a vocal that recalls Kraftwerk’s Computer Love: “It's automatic / There's too much static / Ooh your signal's fading  / Down goes my rating / Ooh your signal's fading.”  (It’s interesting to note that this came out in 1979, preceding the Styx and Kraftwerk releases mentioned.)

Ice

After an album of more commercial songs than Camel were known for up to this point, it concludes with this rewarding  ten-minute instrumental that really showcases Latimer’s excellent guitar soloing.  The piece ends with some lovely acoustic guitar and a fluid jazz guitar solo. 

Napster, LLC
Download 25 FREE songs at eMusic.com!
 
More CD Reviews
Metal/Prog Metal
Non-Prog
Progressive Rock
Banner 125x125 Animated
Dollar Rent-a-Car, Inc.
 
Google

   Creative Commons License
   This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 United States License.

    © 2014 Music Street Journal                                                                           Site design and programming by Studio Fyra, Inc./Beetcafe.com