Sound — 10
Camel was a very young band at the time of the "Mirage" recordings. Yet they've been very skillful in manipulating their instruments and it shows. Even from the first album the same prog-hard rock punch is let loose. The band borderlines on Pink Floyd with the guitars pushed to the front as much as the keyboards, but that's not to say David Gilmour is a slouch. Coincidentally enough Andrew Latimer was a Gilmour fan and found his tone similar to Gilmour but adopting a Gibson LP Standard for added punch to the already prog mix of Peter Bardens keyboards, Andy Ward on drums and Doug Ferguson on drums. The final track "Lady Fantasy" has the band running on all 8 cylinders and its a prog rock heaven worth listening to.
Lyrics — 7
Vocals are minor thing throughout the album. Its not a weak thing to say but when the music is heavily dominating the soundscape its actually a good thing. Camel had a problem deciding who would be the main vocalist so certain songs that called for one they would switch between members, mainly Latimer and Bardens. The usual topic of lyrics have been mostly stuff inspired by novels and Tolkien-esque world just like any good progressive acts of the time.
Overall Impression — 9
"Mirage" is a very strong album indeed when compared to the more orchestral "Snow Goose" or the debut album. I find it has a good mix of really heave instrumental jams leading into more mellow keyboard oriented songs. I got this album based off of a recommendation on a MOJO magazine listing a top 25 albums and this one made it. My favorite song off here is "Lady Fantasy" wrapping in at about 16 minutes or so, but the other tracks are just as worth listening to. My only minor despair is the album being only 6 songs, however that doesn't mean they're short. Considering 90% of the songs are over 8 minutes or so gives you a lotta time to consider how much of a achievement this album is over there later ones. If you never heard of Camel, check this album out and do yourself a favor.