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Camel - Nude CD (album) cover

NUDE

Camel

 

Symphonic Prog

3.62 | 523 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

ThulŽatan
Prog Reviewer
4 stars This was the second work by Camel I ever heard (after 'The Snow Goose'), bought on the strength of ten seconds of the track 'Lies' which I caught on TV. As should be well known, 'Nude' is a concept album loosely based on the stories of Japanese soldiers who were lost in the wild during the war, sometimes to spend as long as thirty years excommunicated from the rest of the world before returning to civilisation and finding that the war is not the only thing to have passed by...

On first listen, the simple pop opening 'City Life' does not bode well for a listener expecting the textures of progressive rock, and the rest of the album can seem uninvolving... but with frequent listens you will most likely find that this is because a very dense and varied collection of music exists on 'Nude', and it just refuses to go by without solid attention. Soon 'City Life' fits perfectly as the theme of dubious simplicity and disillusion suggested by the title (and indeed the intro is just beautiful with Latimer's gentle pleas to 'wake up.... wake up') before the bustle is interrupted and the real tale begins. And it is interrupted by possibly the strongest piece on the album, 'Drafted' - a monument to the band's success in capturing a dynamic progressive performance within an otherwise standard rock band format, led by some superb sounds from Latimer's guitar. The lyrics, too, are thoughtful and well-sung, the gentle, understated vocal suiting perfectly the subdued resignation of an ordinary man unclear about why he has to fight but nevertheless honouring his draft. The climax of the track certainly brings home the emotion of this idea in dramatic fashion, an unforgettable electric guitar melody that cements the uncertainty of 'taking a life for a life, to be free'.

And now Nude's journey begins, in music that follows the cold stillness of shipping out to war, the clamour of landing in a confusing warzone, a spacious reflection of suddenly finding oneself in solitude both physically and in mind (the brilliant 'Landscapes'), right through to adjusting to life in this remote region, the eventual rescue, an unhappy return to civilisation... and the final, moving choice to go back out to where he had spent so much of his life, for the last time. Despite one or two small weak moments, I would consider Camel's 'Nude' a wonderful addition to anyone's collection; a surprising-for-the-period, conceptually sound album.

ThulŽatan | 4/5 |

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