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Camel - The Snow Goose CD (album) cover

THE SNOW GOOSE

Camel

 

Symphonic Prog

4.29 | 2113 ratings

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benbell
5 stars Apparently this album was originally intended to have lyrics telling the story of The Snow Goose, adapted from a novel by Paul Gallico. At some point during the albums production a copyright infringement complaint resulted in it becoming an instrumental album. I think this has to be one of the great disasters-turned-good of prog rock history as this album is sublime, and I can't imagine that lyrics would do anything but detract from it.

This is a strong concept album of repeated musical themes and passages which, combined with the lack of lyrics to hang titles on, means that I don't really associate track names with most of it. That said, the surprising but (to my taste) perfectly judged arrival of a brief orchestral woodwind interlude(!) means that "Friendship" is one track I know by name, and if someone insisted on listening to a snippet rather than the whole album I'd say it, and the two tracks either side ("The Snow Goose" and "Migration") are probably a high point.

Really though, this is an album that needs to be heard from start to finish. It's a beautifully conceived and executed work. Andy Latimer's guitar work is amongst some of the most expressive and emotional I've heard, and Peter Bardens does an equally fine job on various keyboards. The rhythm section deliver too, but for the most part this really is an album where any virtuoso pyrotechnics have been left outside the studio door and everything is there to serve the music as a whole.

If I don't give five stars for this, I probably never will.

benbell | 5/5 |

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