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Camel - Nude CD (album) cover




Symphonic Prog

3.62 | 690 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
4 stars Camel - Nude (1981)

Maturity isn't a bad thing, it's different.

After Moonmadness the glory days of Camel seemed to have come to an end. I really disliked Raindances (1977), I can enjoy Breathless (1978) (it was one of my first vinyl's) and I can see your House from Here (1979) has only one track worth mentioning (the instrumental Ice). Camel's entrance into the eighties surprisingly shows Camel's return to shape. The concept album Nude is perhaps their best record of the eighties period and better then the three albums that came before it (those I just mentioned). What had happened?

Camel's qualities are inventive rock based instrumental passages with nice time changes and progressive harmonic thinking, the great guitar and flute playing of Latimer and the nice songs that sometimes really touch me. The energetic feel of their first four albums is great. Another great part of the Camel-method is the fact that they didn't seem to listen to other progressive records or bands because their are little influences from other bands (perhaps a tiny bit of Canterbury). On Nude Camel may still have a low-energy spark, but the songwriting and the instrumental passages are great again! The music has become accesible, but the quality remains secured. The songs have an developed emotional feel, the members of the band had become mature and very professional. So in summary, high rockin' energy was replaced by emotional maturity and professional songwriting whilst the progressive elements remain present. The production of the album is very good and has little to do with the eighties sound. Don't be scared seventies sympho-prog listeners! Furthermore I would like to add that the concept of this album works quite good. Main character mister Nude (no this album is not about nakedness) is drafted and send to Vietnam which isn't a happy trip at all. The storyline is a real contribution to the feel of the songs.

My first Camel CD was the Coming of Age 2CD, which has a very interesting Nude section! The original recordings on Nude sound just as great as the live versions, but of course the live element of the recordings still makes a difference in the listening experience.

This album has two categories of songs. We've got the instrumental progressive rock tracks and the songs that have progressive influences and an important role when it comes to the concept of the album. On side one we get to listen to some of Camel's best instrumentals and on side two their is plenty of space for intimate songs that get me carried away in the music as if it were a sad children's story. Tenderness is a word that comes to mind, a word that represents a song like Please Come Home very well.

Conclusion. This album shows a matured but still intelligent and inventive Camel with a tender storyline that evokes emotions. Some might discard this as 'sentimental old man's rock', but I think there more to Nude then that. This is an important point in Camel's career that introduces the new approach that was to be continued on the Dust and Dreams and Harbour of Tears albums. A fine symphonic rock album from the eighties, four stars. I say: get it!

friso | 4/5 |


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