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Camel - Mirage CD (album) cover

MIRAGE

Camel

 

Symphonic Prog

4.39 | 2287 ratings

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Luqueasaur
5 stars The first time I listened to MIRAGE and its first track, FREEFALL, I felt something. FREEFALL, so far, represented to me the stereotypical image of the attempts of a part of early 70's in the hard rock: trying to root out the psychedelic influences into a more heavy sonority but still maintain some unwanted characteristics. While an interesting album, I couldn't understand the praise it received as a progressive representant. Until the second section of the song came along, and I observed that even though it still sounded like a bland early hard rock track, it had a powerful influence from jazz. That's where, eventually, my view for MIRAGE changed.

The early progressive genre, in my perspective, is three-faced. While this definition certainly wouldn't apply for the modern progressive, it does fit neatly on the early one. About those three faces: the first involves experimentality, mixing, innovativeness; an escape from uniform, dull or just unoriginal rock. The second is about higher structural and sonorous complexity; and the third (mildly linked to both earlier faces), a different view of rock; trying to undermine the influence of folk and embrace another important genre: jazz.

MIRAGE represents the third face perfectly. It sounds like a rock record, but it uses as a base jazz rather than folk. Yet the symbiosis between the rock and the jazz is so profound and homogeneous it doesn't sound as either. You can't label this as a merely "classic/hard rock" or "jazz fusion" because neither of both parts stands out. They're perfectly fit together.

When I put into perspective the absolute mastery CAMEL had to demonstrate one of the three faces of the progressive genre, I can't call this anything BUT a masterpiece worth the flawless rating. If you're simply a person who likes to listen to prog, then you should listen to this album and expect a good experience. But if you're a person who values prog a little more than just a music genre, MIRAGE is a must. It is literally a gem.

9/10

Luqueasaur | 5/5 |

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