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Camel - Dust And Dreams CD (album) cover




Symphonic Prog

3.68 | 472 ratings

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4 stars It's hard to believe in retrospect that the elapsed time between "Stationary Traveller" and "Dust and Dreams" was less than 7 years, for it seemed like the group was long dead and buried when this self financed effort magically appeared. Such was the zeitgeist of the pre-internet era, where news about lesser known bands was few and far between, and poorly disseminated. Here it has been almost as long since "Nod and a Wink" and, even knowing there may never be another Camel album, we still feel plugged in.

"Dust and Dreams" began a new phase in the Camel saga, distinct from what came before in its more literary and poetic aspects. Its lineage would be "Snow Goose" and "Nude", yet the former had no lyrics and the latter used them sparingly. Latimer and Hoover pay homage to the great John Steinbeck with an effort that manages to channel the great hope and desperation of the "The Grapes of Wrath". For being almost overreaching in its ambitions, it succeeds admirably. In fact, the entire first half is replete with beautiful ambient soundscapes balanced with sensitive well sung songs and soaring instrumental work that captures the moods of the novel. In particular, the sequence of "Mother Road", "Needles" and "Rose of Sharon" is a whirlwind of emotional grace. Camel is back!

The remaining 8 tracks segue together as one instrumental. Despite losing my interest in places with the approximation of slow moving or stifled progress on the part of the characters, it reaches high points in the lovely "Little Rivers and Little Rose" and the elegant "Hopeless Anger".

An unfettered effort in every sense, "Dust and Dreams" demonstrates what can be accomplished by genuine inspiration and respect for everyone involved, especially fans.

kenethlevine | 4/5 |


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