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Reviews Written by
Wambo "Wambo" (Newcastle, UK)

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Revolution By Night
Revolution By Night
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Price: £11.54

2.0 out of 5 stars BOC on the Slide, 22 Oct. 2015
This review is from: Revolution By Night (Audio CD)
BOC were my favourite band when in my teens. I loved all their albums up to the release of Revolution by Night (even Mirrors - their weakest up till then). This album was a disappointment then. It sounds worse now. It has one great song (Shooting Shark), one good one (Take me Away), two really bad ones (Veins and Dragon Lady), and one so outstandingly and criminally awful that it defies belief that it was ever released (Let Go). The remaining tracks are average.
Club Ninja, the follow up album, was marginally better. However, if BOC had released one album consisting of the best songs from these two poor albums (Revolution by Ninja?) it still wouldn't have been a patch on their greatest albums.

I Can See Your House From Here
I Can See Your House From Here
Price: £5.99

2 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A Mixed Bag, 15 Dec. 2013
I first discovered Camel in 1980 (at 13) and loved The Snow Goose so much that I bought their entire back catalogue within a few months. With the exception of Single Factor, I pretty much loved all their albums equally. However, time can change perceptions - due to maturity, experience and fashion, amongst other things...

After listening to this record for the first time in more than 10 years, I now regard I Can See Your House From Here in a very different light. One of the things I like best about Camel is the coherency, flow and 'mood' of their albums - something missing from this record. It's a veritable mixed bag from a band torn asunder with Andy Latimer desperately trying to keep it going.

'Wait' is a dull and lightweight rocker (3/10). 'Your Love is Stranger Than Mine' (4/10), once one of my favourites, is a plodding piece of commercial fluff. 'Eye of the Storm' (8/10), 'Who We Are' (9/10) and Survival/Hymn to Her (8/10) are the only tracks that 'flow' and are among the best of the post-Bardens period. 'Neon Romance' (6/10), with its angry lyrics/delivery and chugging rhythm, and 'Remote Romance' (6/10) would be likeable tracks from any other band but just don't have any of the weight or sophistication I expect from Camel. 'Ice' (10/10) is a masterpiece and a clear reference point for much of Camel's later albums.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Nov 12, 2014 11:58 AM GMT

A Nod And A Wink
A Nod And A Wink
Offered by Fulfillment Express
Price: £14.69

4.0 out of 5 stars More of a wink than a nod, 15 Dec. 2013
This review is from: A Nod And A Wink (Audio CD)
A Nod and a Wink is a good album with a gentle, bucolic texture. Two tracks, however, stand out - and for very different reasons. Fox Hill is the only Camel track ever recorded that I can say I dislike unremittingly, and this is largely due to the Dick van Dyke vocal delivery. For Today, on the other hand, has a grandeur and eloquence that easily surpasses anything else on this album and is simply a masterpiece.

When in Rome
When in Rome

3.0 out of 5 stars A Veritable Mixed Bag, 2 Nov. 2013
This review is from: When in Rome (Audio CD)
So some reviewer think this album excellent, while others think it's rubbish (save The Promise)?
My opinion is that 3 songs are rubbish (tracks 3,4 and 9), while Child's Play has the kernel of a good song but ultimately does sound like child's play.
Their are two delightful harmonious ballads in If Only and Everything, while tracks 2, 6 and 7 are strong songs.
The Promise, of course, is one of the best pop songs ever released.
So, all in all, a mixed bag - an unfulfilled promise.

Throw The Warped Wheel Out
Throw The Warped Wheel Out
Price: £8.75

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The return of an old friend, 30 Oct. 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Fiction Factory will go down as a one-hit-wonder band. Nothing new there - even great bands of longevity like Blue Oyster Cult suffer that fate to those unwilling to delve a little deeper.

And, yes, Heaven is the best track on this CD. But Panic, Ghost go Love and The Warped Wheel are near equal. Hit the Mark, The First Step and Tales of Tears are all very good songs. The Hanging Gardens (experimental), All or Nothing (the most dated) and Heart and Mind (the dullest) are the weakest on the original album, but are by no means poor.

Of the additional B sides, The Other Side of Grey and I Who Know You are really good, while Everyone But You (with the lovely bitter refrain "I dream of everyone but you - I leave you out!") is wonderful. Dreaming of Someone is pretty good too. The only true bum note is Old Game Blue Flame.

I listened to FF's follow-up album at the time but didn't care for it at all. Perhaps Fiction Factory should be referred to as a one-hit-album-wonder band.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: May 17, 2015 6:36 PM BST

I Trawl The Megahertz
I Trawl The Megahertz

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Magificent, 13 Aug. 2011
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: I Trawl The Megahertz (Audio CD)
One or two reviewers have suggested this is a CD for hardcore Prefab Sprout fans only. I completely disagree. The clue is in the name of the recording artist: Paddy McAloon. He was clearly trying to distinguish between the evolved sound of Prefab Sprout (Swoon, 1984, to Andromeda Heights, 1997, have HUGELY different sounds and surely appeal to different people) and this very personal record which cannot be categorised easily and is sublime and unique.
This, more than any of his other recordings, demonstrates Paddy's genious and innate humanity.

Andromeda Heights
Andromeda Heights
Price: £12.85

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Head in the Clouds, 13 Aug. 2011
This review is from: Andromeda Heights (Audio CD)
Paddy McAloon has always written intelligent and beautifully crafted songs, but this album is so much lusher, sweeter and dreamier than previous accomplishments. Paddy has dealt with life's cruel knocks not with bitterness nor cynicism but a gentle acceptance and reversion to purer thoughts and astral escapism.
The arrangement of the CD is in perfect keeping with the lyrics, with saxaphone and twinkling keyboards to the fore. The pace is slow and deliberate, the songs drifting in perfect symmetry like....well, the cosmos.
The possible exception to the uniformity of the album is 'A Prisoner of the Past', which is ballsier and has a stand-alone quality, and may have been better-placed as the CD's opener. The weakest song, lyrically, is 'The Mystery of Love', but it's saved from insipid schmaltz by the delightful arrangement. My personal favourite is the lovely 'Swans', followed by the ethereal 'Weightless'.
Paddy went on to record the mixed bag that is 'The Gunman', followed by the magnificent 'I Trawl the Megahertz' and 'Music'. If you like 'Andromeda Heights' you'll certainly like 'Music' - a very similarly textured record, with possibly even better songs but not such good arrangements.

Club Ninja
Club Ninja
Price: £10.97

2 of 5 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Dissapointing, 14 Oct. 2009
This review is from: Club Ninja (Audio CD)
I'm afraid that after 'Fire of Unknown Origin' BOC ran out of steam. Only 'Imaginos' is a worthy addition to the BOC canon - probably because it was largely composed many years prior to it's release. Clearly the sacking of Albert Bouchard in 1982 destroyed the dynamics that made the band so special; after this Buck Dharma was the only member capable of ocassional moments of magic.
Club Ninja is a pretty lame affair, but in Perfect Water there is one golden nugget: it's one of the best tracks BOC ever recorded. Madness to the Method, Dancing in Ruins, and When the War Comes are decent tracks. White Flags is so-so. Rock Not War is embarrassingly, cringeingly awful. The remaining tracks are very poor. Definitely one for completists.

Offered by Fulfillment Express
Price: £12.10

4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An evolving, but still wondrous Camel, 14 Oct. 2009
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Breathless (Audio CD)
Camel had started to lighten their sound with this album. The concept album was beginning to be unfashionable and the band adapted accordingly. This was the middle of 3 albums that moved to a slightly poppier sound, before they returned to the concept album (albeit a lighter version of one) with 'Nude'. In my opinion, all the Camel albums from their eponymous debut to Nude are classics.
'Breathless' is undoubtedly less seamless than it's predecessors; however, there are enough 5 star songs here for me to rate it thus. Breathless, Echoes, Summer Lightning, Sleeper, and Rainbow's End are all wonderful. Starlight Ride and You Make Me Smile are both 4 star tracks, as is Down on the Farm, which is querky and silly, but charming and fun. Wing and a Prayer is the weakest song, but is pleasant enough.
Camel is the only band that I've enjoyed listening to, without interruption, for 28 years. All 8 of their initial studio albums are 4.5 to 5 star material: Breathless is one of these.

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