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Caamora - Closer CD (album) cover

CLOSER

Caamora

 

Neo-Prog

3.96 | 15 ratings

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Easy Livin
Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator / Retired Admin
4 stars Whetting the appetite

Caamora is the latest of the prolific Clive Nolan's (ARENA, PENDRAGON, Etc.) projects. For this ambitious venture, he has teamed up with the a mysterious Polish lady by the name of Agnieszka Swita. It seems Swita has never been actively involved in the music industry, her partnership with Nolan coming about as a result of a chance meeting via a mutual friend.

The project, which involves a lavish interpretation of a Victorian novel called "She" is scheduled for release in 2007. Meanwhile, the duo have released this EP entitled "Closer" to whet the appetite. There are five tracks here, three of which are new, the other two being re-interpretations of songs Nolan has previously recorded with other collaborations.

The EP opens with a spirited version of the Shadowland song "Half moon street". Swita's vocals are highly accomplished and confident. Sounding at times vaguely like Marianne Faithful, her slightly husky tones are ideal for the dramatics of the song. The following two tracks are from the "She" project. Interestingly "World somewhere" is described as having been written for "She" while "The bonding" "will appear on the album". Certainly "The bonding" is the stronger and more memorable song, being a mid-paced number with powerful instrumentation. Swita uses varying vocal effects reminiscent of Sonja Kristina to bring out the power of the song. Mark Westwood contributes some useful guitar here too.

"Sacrifice" originally appeared on the first Strangers on a Train album. For those familiar with the two "Key" albums so far released under that name, they are the best reference point of the many projects Nolan has been involved with. Another useful reference point is RENAISSANCE around the time of their Scherezade album, especially in view of the orchestration here.

The final track, which gives the EP its title, is a soft piano and vocal duet. Swita's slightly trembling vocals are powerful and pure.

This EP, which is only available either via the band's website or at their shows, serves as a good appetiser for Caamora. The objective was clearly to showcase the vocals of Agnieszka Swita and to that extent it works well. She is undoubtedly a highly capable singer with a distinctive voice. My own preferences is when she adopts a slightly lower key, as she does on "Half moon street". Apart from the non-performing aspects such as song-writing and production, Clive stays largely in the background throughout. It appears we will need to await the release of "She" in 2007 before we see him in all his glory.

In all though, the signs are good that this will be a highly appealing project.

Easy Livin | 4/5 |

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