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Camel - Nude CD (album) cover




Symphonic Prog

3.62 | 692 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
3 stars The final Camel album to feature Andy Ward is a bit of a return to form after the awkward transitional albums from Rain Dances to I Can See Your House From Here. Though Latimer finally succeeds in updating and streamlining the classic Camel sound for the 1980s, don't let the short song lengths fool you - the album flows from track to track wonderfully, creating another instrumental-heavy concept album in the tradition of the Snow Goose (with a few lyrics here and there to shed a bit of light on the concept).

With Andy's guitar work at points reminiscent of the sort of material Steve Hackett was unleashing on his own solo albums at around the same time, Nude shares with the likes of those albums a fascinating position as a transition point between the symphonic styles of the golden age of prog and the accessible, melodic approach of the upcoming neo-prog acts. It's also a brave experiment in updating symphonic prog from a time when the genre had few stalwart champions.

At the same time, I do suspect the album is rather more highly regarded than it strictly deserves to be on its own merits, by virtue of being a decent album in the middle of a run of decidedly less consistent material. In that respect it's a bit like Genesis' Duke, in that comes hot on the heels of a messy, transitional album hampered by awkward changes to the group's lineup, and was followed by an album which was regarded as a shameless and tasteless bid for the commercial mainstream by the band's prog audience. Ultimately, this is undeniably 1980s Camel we are dealing with here - a vintage that has not dated nearly as well as the the original 1970s brand - and in common with many classic prog groups who had an awkward transition into the new era they struggle to incorporate newer production methods and synthesiser sounds into their sound (in part because they try to use them in the same way they used the synths of the 1970s, rather than treating them as distinct tools in their own right).

Ultimately, Nude is a pretty album, but I can't really put hand on heart and say it's substantially better than, say, Stationary Traveller. Worth a try if you are a fan, but myself I'd rather just give the Snow Goose another listen.

Warthur | 3/5 |


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