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Camel - I Can See Your House From Here CD (album) cover




Symphonic Prog

2.87 | 620 ratings

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Special Collaborator
Symphonic Team
3 stars Bass plays bass!

I Can See Your House From Here introduced yet another new Camel line up. Richard and Dave Sinclair were no more and in came Colin Bass (a very suitable name for someone who plays bass!), Jan Schelhaas and Kit Watkins (ex-Happy The Man) both on keyboards. Mel Collins reappears as a guest on one track. Phil Collins also does guest performance on percussion (he is not related to Mel, though. Not as far as I know, anyway)! Colin Bass would stay in Camel even up till the present day and thus become, together with founding member Andy Latimer, one of the longest standing members of this great band. Bass was immediately allowed to sing lead vocals on a couple of tracks and even co-write one of the tracks with Schelhaas, Latimer and Andy Ward.

In some ways this album constituted a return to form after the disappointing and uncharacteristic Breathless album, but I Can See Your House From Here was by no means a return to the amazing form of Moonmadness. Still, there are some great moments here. Several tracks went on to become live favourites, including the wonderful 10 minute plus guitar-based instrumental Ice and the strong Hymn To Her with its very good and unexpected instrumental break. Wait is something of a Pop song that too was played live on more than one tour of the 80's. Eye Of The Storm is a very mellow instrumental that give diversity to the album. The almost eight minute Who We Are is also a very nice and mellow symphonic ballad with a classic Camel feel and a lovely acoustic guitar solo and flute lines despite a rather syrupy chorus. This song would have made Barclay James Harvest Proud.

There are, however, also some embarrassments on this album. Your Love Is Stranger Than Mine is a pure Pop song that does very little for me. But if you think that song is bad wait until you hear Remote Romance! This song is the worst Camel ever made; it is something of a New Wave/Synth Pop song! Even Richard Sinclair's awful Down On The Farm from the previous album is preferable over Remote Romance and that says a lot! Neon Magic is also not really fitting on a Camel album having a bit of a Punk/New Wave sound. They adapted a bit to the times on these two songs, but not generally so.

As I said, there are some great moments on this album, but it is very uneven. They don't seem to have known in what direction they wanted to go and pure Pop songs rub shoulders with Symphonic Prog and embarrassing New Wave influenced songs. The next album, Nude, would be a much more coherent Camel album that concentrated on Symphonic Prog revolving around a concept once more and better in every respect.

Recommended, but not essential unless you are a fan

SouthSideoftheSky | 3/5 |


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