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Camel - Dust And Dreams CD (album) cover

DUST AND DREAMS

Camel

 

Symphonic Prog

3.65 | 357 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

SouthSideoftheSky
Special Collaborator
Symphonic Team
5 stars Let's dust off this dream album!

What an amazing return to form this album was after a long period of silence following an even longer period of merely good and some less-than-good albums. The previous album, Stationary Traveller, had been better than its most recent predecessors, but Dust And Dreams is a very large step up from that album. I would even say that Dust And Dreams simply was the best Camel album since Moonmadness and it is still one of my all time favourite Camel albums (and all time favourite albums full stop)!

Andy Latimer had formed his own label - Camel Productions - and now he finally had the creative freedom he needed to make such great albums as the present one and the next one, Harbour Of Tears. Previous albums had been hampered by the record company wanting to have hit singles and more commercially viable music. Andy had to compromise his great musical vision. Not so here. Dust And Dreams is a monumental work on a grander scale than anything he had ever done before including Nude and The Snow Goose.

Dust And Dreams is a story-based album just like Nude, Stationary Traveller and Harbour Of Tears. You will have to discover the story for yourself, but I can reveal that it is a rather sad one, and the melancholy is very present in the music. The guitar sound of Mr. Latimer is unbelievable and the guitar breaks are often stunning. For me, this is clearly some air guitar material here, I have to get up and play air guitar on that song!

Songs flow into each other here; there are musical themes that keep coming back on several tracks; the album feels like a whole rather than a just a collection of individual songs. Dust And Dreams is varied with rather conventional (Hard) Rock songs like Mother Road and End Of The Line, the very progressive instrumental rocker Hopeless Anger (that almost approaches Metal territory!), together with the mellow, soft material on most of the other songs.

The vocals are the strongest Andy Latimer had ever done before. His voice is great here, very emotional. Indeed, everything about this album is very emotional. There are great harmony vocals on this album, with some female vocals in well chosen places.

If I must point towards a weakness of this album, I would have to say the drum sound. The drums are not at all horrible, but they have that somewhat sterile 80's sound. I have now heard the full live version of this album that is available on the fantastic official live recording Never Let Go, and the drum sound is better live. While I gave also that live album the full five stars, this studio version is a masterpiece in its own right! Having at least one version of Dust And Dreams is truly essential!

Dust And Dreams is a masterpiece of progressive music!

SouthSideoftheSky | 5/5 |

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