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Camel - A Nod And A Wink CD (album) cover




Symphonic Prog

3.95 | 641 ratings

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Symphonic Team
4 stars A nod towards Jethro Tull and a wink towards Genesis

A Nod And A Wink is, in my opinion, preferable over the previous Rajaz album in almost every respect. These two albums are like night and day - and if we allow ourselfs to take the metaphor seriously, then Rajaz is the night and A Nod And A Wink the day. The respective sound and feeling of the two albums are very different indeed, with A Nod And A Wink having a much "warmer" and "lighter" sound and also being less serious, less mellow and a bit more "whimsical" in a (mostly) good way.

While there were almost no flutes on Rajaz, there are a lot of them here. And the flutes are played in a variety of different styles, one of which is a nod towards Ian Anderson of Jethro Tull. The drums are also much more elaborated and, most importantly, they feel more alive compared to the somewhat sterile drums on Rajaz. The keyboards are much more varied here and the use of organ is part of what gives this album its "warmer" sound compared to the somewhat "cold" Rajaz. There are sparkling keyboard solos here, something that was quite rare on Rajaz. The vocals are also more varied and Andy sings in different styles and moods (even British dialects!) similar to what Peter Gabriel did on the early Genesis albums. Further, there are more background vocals on this one, also contributing to the warmer sound. The electric guitar work that was excellent on Rajaz, is just as good here. Overall, A Nod And A Wink feels more like a band effort than an Andy Latimer studio project.

I complained about Rajaz that it felt predictable. Not so here. There are several unexpected changes in the music here which I feel is essential in progressive Rock. I also said about Rajaz that there were too few fast paced passages. Not so here. There are softer and mellower parts as well as rockier parts. The influences here are much wider as well, with the Folk influence once again being present in Camel's music.

The compositions here are not at all as strong, though, as the ones from the brilliant Harbour Of Tears and Dust And Dreams albums and A Nod And A Wink does not hold together as well as those two brilliant concept albums. But being less good than those masterpieces is not really criticism! A Nod And A Wink is still a great album!

If you want to explore 90's/2000's Camel (which you should, it's great!), I would recommend you to start with Harbour Of Tears and then Dust And Dreams and after that you should get A Nod And A Wink and last Rajaz.

Perhaps not among Camel's very best this one, but still an excellent addition to your Camel collection

SouthSideoftheSky | 4/5 |


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