Review Summary: 'Brevity is the soul of wit'
I hate movies like transformers and avatar. Would you like to know why? Probably not, but I'll divulge my opinions.
Its because of every shot in the whole film. There are millions of composite effects shots, and hundreds of explosions and bullets, and the before you know it, the whole screen is cluttered with sh*t that doesn't enhance the film at all. And these movies, stripped down to their core, are composed of little more than piles of camel dung for a plot and my dogs rectum for acting. Music today, and in some ways, music since the 80's in general, faces a similar problem, but it is easier to explain using the example of film and the colorful metaphor of animal anus. Pick a song that is on the charts today – and there is a solid chance it is comparable to the films I mentioned. In what way? Well, that will be the apex of this Camel review.
You see, unlike many songs across many genres, Camel really took the old Shakespeare line to heart. “Brevity is the soul of wit”. Basically, this means, keeping things simple makes things conversely more complex. This particular Camel album, 'Mirage', doesn't fill your brain with meaningless noises or hundreds of sounds that mean nothing. The songs found on this album are truly progressive – they represent the best musicians in the trade playing complex, yet subtle melodies and rhythms. The primary focus of the short movie and subsequent music rant was to bring to your attention the artistic integrity and simplistic genius of the album – and for the record, this is as good as music can get. There is no garbage cluttering this album. Like an elite 30 or 40 albums – the album was made with a clear vision in mind and executed as well as art can possibly be. It, simply, is the personification of the human condition – to produce and record an album that sounds, and more importantly, feels like an emotion from our own human selves.
Every moment of every song of 'Mirage' is to be treasured, and every note is perfectly placed. The album is composed of two epics, but the seamless track flow, unifying theme, and harmonious sound all make the album feel like a Lord Of the Rings type, sum-of-their-parts type whole. Which is ironic, because almost all of the lyrics on this album are about the Lord of the Rings. But I digress, 'Mirage' flows from the rocking opener 'Freefall' to beautiful instrumentals such as 'Earthrise' and back again in every direction. The, 'effects', we'll call them, are created by flutes, symphonies, keyboards, guitars, drums, reverbs, overtones and feedback. The album showcases an uncanny ability for melody, in which songs with no lyrics or words to them will have you creating stories in your own mind to fit the mood.
It's an album for playing with your friends. It's an album for playing in music theory class. It's an album to smoke weed to. It's an album that inspires poetry. It's an album to sit alone in your room with a slick pair of Beats and contemplate. It's an album for cranking your Honda Civic's volume to 11 and jamming out to as you speed by the police stations.
But above all, it's an amazing album.