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Postage cost can't be calculated. Please enter a valid postcode. There are 1 items available. Please enter a number less than or equal to 1. Select a valid country. Please enter up to 7 characters for the postcode. There is a brief narrative spoken by Latimer , but this, once again, contributes to how natural and pastoral the concept of the album is. However, not everything here is as good or indeed unmistakeably talented as it seems. As well as this, and perhaps not as frustratingly obvious, is the absence of the lyrical content.
At times, the music seems to go on forever, and then, just as you think the song is going to be an instrumental one, Latimer sings in a slightly weak voice although not ignoring his major health problems either. Mind you, what he slightly lacks in vocals, he much more than makes up for in the use of flutes, keyboards and guitar work.
If indeed it was dedicated to him, he most definitely will be nodding in appreciation. A track that best shows the enormous potential Camel had in Because yes, in the three years that followed, the band would release their three most acclaimed albums, realizing that potential they had going. This debut is not just another example of a stepping stone, but an accomplished work in its own right.
Possibly the most appealing quality of this record is the amorphous atmosphere and use of themes. Throughout the record, the moods change very often and still retain the same overall ambience, one of nature, all her seasons, and all the fog, wind, and oak that goes with it. The atmosphere is able to do this because the band implements a lot of woodwind instruments and, thankfully, restrain from doing any senseless prog jams. Because the album is based on a book, you will find no lyrics whatsoever.
Words are the biggest barrier in the world, and because of this I can only implore that you let the album speak for itself. Despite the obvious similarity in the overall vibe though, Moonmadness is also quite different.
Mirage contained three vocal tracks, two of which were epics, woven around two instrumentals. This album is spread out a great deal more, the average song length being about five and a half minutes, and that makes it a smoother experience altogether.
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For personal non-commercial use only. All rights reserved. But I mean to make a somewhat "deeper" comparison here concerning their respective situations in the early 80's when they both ventured towards Pop territory while still retaining their respective amazing guitar work and progressive touch and writing some very good and emotional songs in the process. Steve Hackett had formed a band around himself in the late 70's, but by he was basically alone with only keyboardist Nick Magnus and his brother John still by his side.
Hackett handled all the lead vocals by himself for the first time on Cured and he grew a lot as a singer during the 80's and 90's just like Andy Latimer would do. Latimer was actually in a similar situation at this point being basically alone with some guests in creating this album hence the title The Single Factor. There are mostly shorter tunes on The Single Factor and it is a diverse album with several different styles being explored.
Another similarity with Hackett's Cured is the presence of some poppy songs as well as some more progressive instrumentals. The instrumental Sasquatch, for example, became a live favourite that was often played live by the band during the 80's and 90's. However, this is not quite as nice as Ice. For me personally both Cured and The Single Factor are actually more than decent albums though Cured is the better of the two!
Fans of progressive Rock usually fear the very word 'Pop', and for good reasons I hasten to add, but The Single Factor should not be put together with Invisible Touch or This album is not a "sell out" by those standards. Even if the songs are shorter here, these are hardly potential chart toppers. As a follow up to Nude, it is, of course, very disappointing indeed. But Nude was, after all, great! Overall, this album is quite soft, but Manic, with its dramatic organ, sounds almost like it could have been the soundtrack for some film!
Lullaby is a very short but beautiful piano ballad with a very good vocal performance by Andy. The song A Heart's Desire is very nice but completely out of place here, I think. It does not have a Camel feeling. This is largely due to Andy Latimer not singing it.
This is certainly not a bad album even if it is one of Camel's least good ones. First of all, this is a lot more of an Andrew Latimer solo project than an official Camel offering.
The band as a cohesive, functioning entity had ceased to exist in '81 and Andy, being the sole remaining founder of said combo, was stuck with the daunting task of fulfilling the group's contract with the label as best he could. Latimer enlisted the capable skills of Tony Clark to co-produce, rounded up a handful of crackerjack musicians like Ant Phillips and bassist David Paton, booked time at the prestigious Abbey Road studios and plunged ahead courageously.
Or so it's reported. One need only to notice the copyright date on the sleeve to cause any expectations of grandeur to dissipate like smoke and, frankly, to warrant a dread of the worst. Video may have killed the radio star but what it was doing to progressive rock was a fate more horrible than death. Add to that the eviscerating wounds that had been cruelly inflicted on the genre by the punk and New Wave movements of the latter 70s and prog was in the I.
If there had been a "do not resuscitate" order in effect we might not be talking today, kids. All this is intended to warn you that the opener, "No Easy Answer," is nothing more than a mealy ort of pop fluff solely intended to bore its way into the heads of Top 40 radio listeners and create a chart-topper if at all possible.
I suspect that the corporate honchos made him do it in hopes of recouping a fraction of their investment. It's no coincidence that it sounds remarkably like any number of the Alan Parsons Project hits for that very reason. It also gives Andy a chance to explain his dilemma up front. We feel ya, bro. While that low-calorie ditty is far from being intolerable or an outright insult the next cut, "You Are the One," is a big improvement.
The Hammond organ droning at the onset is as comforting as a warm blanket on a cold night but the droll mood it creates stands in stark contrast to the upbeat chorus that comes along like sunlight breaking through dark clouds. Success breeds imitation, what can I say?
Here Andy turns the singing duties over to the soprano warblings of his buddy David Paton and the boy delivers a smooth performance from the higher registers as well as providing some silky notes on the fretless bass underneath. Latimer's imaginative arrangement shows that, despite the song's obvious contemporary leanings, he hasn't completely abandoned his progressive roots. You can take the lad out of prog country, you know. The instrumental "Selva" is a charming slice of pure prog, though.
The Prophet synthesizer manned by Duncan Mackay provides a deep, rich backdrop for the guitars of Phillips and Latimer and the composition is beautiful beyond reason. It conjures up serene, peaceful mental images and elevates this album to the next level.
It's worth a whole star in itself. I'm a real sucker for songs under a minute in duration and "Lullabye" qualifies to be in that designation, coming in at a brisk 55 seconds. Not sure why, but short and sweet always gets me where I live no snide remarks, please. Speaking of instrumentals, "Sasquatch" is next and it has a lively, energetic groove that's irresistible.
If proggers had a TV station this would be the theme for the evening news program hosted by the inimitable and charismatic anchorman Iain Lemming and no one would complain. Andy's expert guitar work is superb, Camel keyboard guru Peter Bardens in his only appearance on this disc turns in a delightfully airy but inspired mini-moog solo and the whole thing has a dynamic, electrified atmosphere that can't be ignored. Well, done Mr. The same can't be said for the follow-up, "Manic," though.
Andy's stab at getting heavy- handed fails to make the grade. His Ozzy-ish vocal is woefully underpowered, causing the whole endeavor to cave in on itself. At least he introduces a somewhat proggy, spacious interlude toward the end to break the monotony but it's a case of too little too late. It's not a total embarrassment due mainly to the quality guitar work but it's also far from being memorable.
While Susan Hoover his wife-to-be penned the words it's easy to connect the dots to Andy's own career predicament. It's really just a power ballad but it works for me, especially the contagious chorus that gets stuck in my brain for days on end. Latimer's echoing slide guitar doesn't hurt, either. And the way it slides effortlessly into the instrumental 2nd half is very gratifying to this old prog dog.
Andy and Ant combine to present a gorgeous piece of music that's like a slice of heaven and the "shimmering" fade out sends a shiver up my spine.
And that's no little feat to turn your nose up at. Andrew Latimer could've gone into the studio for a couple of days and churned out 8 or 9 tracks of dromedary manure to fulfill the requirements of Camel's contract with Gama Records and not given a hoot for the band's legacy. Other artists have done just that in similar circumstances. Yet it's what a man does when faced with adversity that defines his character, not when he's surrounded by talented cohorts riding the crest of popularity and acceptance.
I expected to have a few heartless chuckles over "The Single Factor" but what I came away with was a newfound admiration for Andy. There are several low points to be navigated around, to be sure, but the occasional heights he attains are well worth the price of admission.
Just goes to show that you never know for certain about an album until you lend an ear.
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