Camel
Stationary Traveller


2.5
average

Review

by clairvoyant USER (24 Reviews)
December 5th, 2007 | 24 replies | 8,049 views


Release Date: 1984 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Another former progressive rock band does the 1980s, and success is nowhere to be found.

2 of 2 thought this review was well written

It is 1984. Nearly all of the well known progressive rock acts from the 1970s have either disbanded or chosen to ride the synthesizer-laden pop trends that are currently dominating the airwaves. Genesis had already released both Abacab and Genesis, the two albums that solidified Phil Collins' position as a pop genious. Trevor Rabin had turned Yes into a pop act with the 90125, which even came with a #1 hit. The last hope for progressive rock was murdered in 1982, when the supergroup Asia, complete with former members of Yes, King Crimson, and Emerson, Lake & Palmer turned out to be just another arena rock band. One would think that some of the more underground progressive rock acts would know better than to stay away from this trend, but Andrew Latimer's sights were set on just doing what everybody else was doing at the time. Stationary Traveller, Camel's 10th album, continues further down the pop road that was previously seen in 1982 with The Single Factor, featuring more synths and weaker songwriting than ever before.

At first glance at a detailed tracklist, one would notice that there are four instrumental tracks to found on Stationary Traveller, something that could give a prog-head from the 70s some hope that Camel turned back on these pop stylings that were hinted at in 1982. Upon hearing the opener, Pressure Points, it even sounds possible that Camel could combined what may have seemed like polar opposites, synths and progressive rock. However, once the album begins with its first real song, it is painfully obvious that this will not be the Camel album we had hoped for. Heavy synths are everywhere, electric basslines, pads, and synth strings are all put at the forefront ahead of guitar on far too many of the tracks. Andrew Latimer’s beautiful tone is forced to fills, mostly, on the distinctly 80s ridden tracks such as Vopos and Cloak and Dagger Man. Chris Rainbow’s immensely 80s pop sounding vocals on some tracks do not help Andrew Latimer’s cause at possibly creating one final masterpiece, as well.

Yet, it seems as if for one song the original Camel returned, for the five minutes of the title track, Stationary Traveller, everything came together, the synths were not a particular forefront, instead used to accent the mood that the piano and acoustic guitar created in the beginning of the song. And for a few minutes, Andrew Latimer gets to show off his lead skills, unveiling one of the finest solo pieces of any progressive rock guitarist, ever. This musicianship was able to carry on even to a very synthesizer-laden instrumental, Missing, which adds in more guitar leads than in previous songs to build up upon itself, and resolving like only Andrew Latimer can do it. After Words and Long Goodbyes work well together to form a strong ending to an otherwise relatively weak album from a band that formerly made top notch progressive rock in the 1970s.

Camel fans should more than likely stay away from this album, but the title track truly is a masterpiece that must be heard at least a few times. Even fans of 80s pop should not be inclined to purchase this, as many other former progressive rock artists produced much better pop music than Camel (Peter Gabriel, Phil Collins, Asia). For a good feel of what went wrong with the lesser known progressive rock acts in the 80s, Stationary Traveller by Camel is the album that represents it the best.



Recent reviews by this author
Rick Astley Whenever You Need SomebodyAce of Base The Sign
My American Heart The Meaning in MakeupVertical Horizon Everything You Want
Melee Devils & AngelsThe Receiving End of Sirens The Earth Sings Mi Fa Mi
user ratings (84)
Chart.
3.4
great
related reviews

Mirage

Moonmadness

Camel

Rajaz
recommended by reviewer
Genesis Genesis
Yes 90125

Comments:Add a Comment 
Zebra
Moderator
December 5th 2007



2647 Comments


Some of the worst music that I've ever listened to is 80's prog-rock. I have Mirage and it's a great listen but I can't imagine Camel during the 80's.

jrowa001
December 5th 2007



8749 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

this album isnt as bad as you say it is imo. it of course doesnt come close to anything they ever did in the 70's. Nude was made in 1981 and is actually a very strong album. they pick it back up in the 90's with Dust and Dreams, and Rajaz

clairvoyant
December 5th 2007



765 Comments

Album Rating: 1.5 | Sound Off

well, it is better than doing bubblegum pop, but its just disappointing, its just, boring for the most part.

i know its bad because i really enjoy it when i'm on adderall while studying, and that is only time i can really enjoy songs like west berlin, vopos, and fingertips...

joshuatree
Emeritus
December 5th 2007



3743 Comments


The only album I've heard from Camel was Mirage. I'm not gonna check out this one, but I'll listen their self-titled someday.

Good review.

Willie
Moderator
December 6th 2007



15774 Comments


I've always been curious about these guys, mainly due to Opeth interviews. I'll probably just stay away from these guys entirely.

Digging: Teramaze - Esoteric Symbolism

Dragon_Prince
December 6th 2007



272 Comments


Stay away from Camel? That is a shame, Mirage, Moonmadness and Snow Goose are must haves.

Willie
Moderator
December 6th 2007



15774 Comments


Really? I can't think of one 70's prog band that I've ever really liked.

Dragon_Prince
December 6th 2007



272 Comments


Mhm, I only really like Pink Floyd and Genesis from that era and prog music. But try out the song called Lady Fantasy, you might like it.

jrowa001
December 6th 2007



8749 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Camel are amongst the best from the 70's

clairvoyant
December 6th 2007



765 Comments

Album Rating: 1.5 | Sound Off

I've always been curious about these guys, mainly due to Opeth interviews. I'll probably just stay away from these guys entirely.


nonono...just stay away from this album!

Everything they did up through 1981 (Nude was still a good album) is solid

Muikuli
February 22nd 2009



180 Comments


^Have you listened to their latest two albums? I thought Rajaz and A Nod and a Wink are both great.

linguist2011
Contributing Reviewer
February 27th 2012



1776 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

This album isn't quite as bad as the review suggests to be honest. What you said in the opening paragraph about 70's progressive rock bands either disbanding or giving in to synthesisers in the 80's, isn't entirely true-Are you forgetting Rush and Hawkwind? (The latter are more psychedelic, but i regard 'Levitation' as a more progressive offering from the band). Rush may have used synthesisers, but with the genius of Geddy Lee, it made them something special to behold for the musical world to see. That said, 'Stationary Traveller' does perhaps have too much softness, but every song on the record is actually well written in my view.

KILL
September 9th 2012



67082 Comments


this is actually pretty sweet yea

Digging: Picchio dal Pozzo - Picchio dal Pozzo

ViperAces
January 10th 2013



12357 Comments


lol Willie what a gay thing to do

CaptainDooRight
March 9th 2013



26376 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

http://m.youtube.com/#/watch?v=WO2BTPBKiSs&feature=related

best song ever

Digging: Deniro Farrar - The Patriarch II

CaptainDooRight
March 11th 2013



26376 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

flavour


CaptainDooRight
March 11th 2013



26376 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

that solo executed perfectly by camel lips

oltnabrick
March 11th 2013



29282 Comments


ye i can dig this

Digging: Future - Honest

CaptainDooRight
March 11th 2013



26376 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

oltna ftw


CaptainDooRight
March 14th 2013



26376 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

VOPOOOOOOSSS



You have to be logged in to post a comment. Login | Create a Profile





FAQ // STAFF & CONTRIBUTORS // SITE FORUM // CONTACT US

Bands: A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z


Site Copyright 2005-2013 Sputnikmusic.com
All Album Reviews Displayed With Permission of Authors | Privacy Policy