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DUST AND DREAMS

Camel

Symphonic Prog


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lucas
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Honorary Collaborator
5 stars To my mind, it is Camel's best concept album. The introduction is truly poignant, and harmonica is here to relate 'Dust and dreams' to the ambiance of Steinbeck's 'Grapes of wrath'. Andy Latimer's singing is very good and Mae McKenna sings on a very beautiful track (rose of sharon). This album could be considered as a cross between neo-prog (the sung tracks) and symph prog (the instrumental tracks). Purchase it without hesitating if you haven't it yet!!

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Send comments to lucas (BETA) | Report this review (#2428)
Posted Saturday, November 01, 2003 | Review Permalink
5 stars Ah...the softer side to Camel...and a beautiful one it is....its a most beautiful,well thought out,lyrical musical Camel we have here. I might as well say it: There is no bad Camel record !!! Theres just different degrees of Camelmusic....this one´s definately a soft one !!! Superp album!!!

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Send comments to Tonny Larz (BETA) | Report this review (#2430)
Posted Thursday, November 27, 2003 | Review Permalink
Sean Trane
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Prog Folk
2 stars I recognize some quality of this album but it really fails to interest me . The concept depicts the drought crisis endured by the American farmers caused by their own industrial manner of agriculture. Over-use of pesticide and industial fertilizer have made still nowadays in sone states almost a desert. Hence the title or earth turning to dust and so the dreams. I never had the patience to wait the 15 min of wind sounds to hear the end of the last number.

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Send comments to Sean Trane (BETA) | Report this review (#2433)
Posted Thursday, February 05, 2004 | Review Permalink
lor68
PROG REVIEWER
5 stars Fantastic album as well as its mood,even though of course by regarding the first tracks only- characterized by a peaceful atmosphere but lacking of tension a bit- it should deserve an inferior score (4 stars maximum or 3 stars and an half at least).Nevertheless- regarding of a splendid transposition from "The Grapes of Wrath" by J. Steimbach-talking about the second part, this concept album is well worth checking out, above all by pointing out such simple but stunning harmonic solutions at the guitar (among the others, the unforgettable "Hopeless Anger") by Andy and his magnificent guitar effects too, which are a true Andy Latimer's trademark also during his splendid performances live!

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Send comments to lor68 (BETA) | Report this review (#2434)
Posted Thursday, April 01, 2004 | Review Permalink
tommyknocker@
5 stars This is a fantastic artistic interpretation of John Steinbeck`s "The Grapes Of Wrath", and it thoroughly explores the theme of The Joads` journey into the false eden called California. It starts with the prying wind theme "The Dust Bowl" that turns into a vocal manifesto of the family`s unrelenting hope "Go West". Then we have a short symphonic masterpiece "Dusted Out" whose dramatic performance shows the drama of the Okies being kicked out of their homes. "Mother Road" brings another important message namely that you and the road you are traveling along are the one thing. The next instrumental piece is "Needles", the city on the Joads` way to the milk`n`honey land, a quite nice transition to a beautiful and heartfelt song "Rose Of Sharon" that is even more sentimental in pitch than the book itself. The last vocal number is called "End Of The Line" which touches the problem of loneliness and helplessness among the trackers whose desperation increases steadily to the point of unutterable anger masterly expressed by the one of the final tracks "Hopeless Anger" in which Latimer`s guitar solo tears your heart apart. And at last the Joads are free to decide which way to go and what they left behind belongs to the past now, and the heavy rain drops bring relief and hope for a change. "Dust & Dreams" is the best concept work of Andy Latimer except "The Snow Goose" and "The Harbour Of Tears".

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Send comments to (BETA) | Report this review (#2435)
Posted Monday, April 12, 2004 | Review Permalink
loserboy
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars Without a question Andy Latimer is an amazing musician as is evident in 1991's "Dust & Dream" which is loosly based on the concept of Steinbeck's "The Grapes of Wraith". As with all CAMEL album our ears are treated to some well crafted symphonic passages with breath taking guitar solos. This album features a lot less of Latimer's flute (which is maybe the only bummer of this album) but does offer some simply amazing songs and passages. Other contributing musicians include Colin Bass (bass), Ton Scherpenzeel (keys) and Paul Burgess (drums). Highly recommended album for those who love softer and highly symphonic prog.

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Send comments to loserboy (BETA) | Report this review (#2436)
Posted Sunday, April 25, 2004 | Review Permalink
Hibou
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Honorary Collaborator
4 stars Here is a fine musical adaptation of John Steinbeck's novel 'The Grapes of Wrath' and perhaps CAMEL's most symphonic album yet. It is rarely aggressive and doesn't showcase any particular musician - for example, you won't hear too many LATIMER guitar or flute solos on it, although the few you will come across are very memorable. The strength of the album rests on its atmospherics, where a melancholy mood pervades. The music is extremely moving and flows so well you won't want to let go until you've heard the album to the end. It's hard to pick any particular track as they all tend to flow into one another, making the whole album seen like one single track with many variations.

The most notable ones are "Mother Road", a little CAMEL rocker that starts off innocently enough but develops some muscle along the way. "Needles", whose nostalgic harmonica intro blooms into a full-bodied symphonic tune - the 'lump in the throat' inducing type, if you know what I mean. Two others have the same effect: the short instrumental "Whispers" and the poignant "Rose of Sharon", with its interplay of male and female vocals. "End of the Line" is quite similar to "Watching the Bobbins" - very PINK FLOYD like, some would say. "Cotton Camp" and "Broken Banks" are those rare numbers on the album where LATIMER really takes flight into one of his heartfelt solo performances, the type you just can't get enough of. When you reach the end of the CD, you're under a spell, as if you were just coming out of the theater after seeing the movie. Personally, I've fallen in love with this album.

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Send comments to Hibou (BETA) | Report this review (#2438)
Posted Monday, April 26, 2004 | Review Permalink
5 stars "Dust And Dreams" of the announcement in 1991 is a work announced to outskirts of a long silence. It is a concept album Inspaiaed from John Steinbeck's "The Grapes Of Wrath". It is a masterpiece that provides with friendly that seems to be CAMEL in the drama that equals the masterpiece of PINK FLOYD. The image given from a graceful sound by orchestral music is ""Snow Goose". " in complete. The tone with the sorrow that carries out the whole volume is wonderful. The romantic world is a performance that doesn't change in 70's, and is more excellent than the work in 80's.

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Send comments to braindamage (BETA) | Report this review (#43759)
Posted Monday, August 22, 2005 | Review Permalink
4 stars This is Camel's 11th studio album but first since a seven year break. It was released in 1991, is an an intense and moving concept album. The last 8 songs are instrumental, standing together as one piece.The record was inspired by John Steinbeck's "The Grapes of Wrath". This is the story of poor farmers from Oklahoma, moving from the Dust Bowl to California during the depression, and being confronted with prejudice and violence. The album was started in England but was finished in California's San Francisco Bay Area.

1. Dust Bowl - 4,5/5

2. Go West - 4/5

3. Dusted Out - 3,5/5

4. Mother Road - 4/5

5. Needles - nice orchestration. 4,5/5

6. Rose of Sharon - has a beautiful vocal melody and a very heartfelt guitar lead. 5/5

7. Milk n' Honey - 4/5

8. End Of The Line - 4,5/5

9. Storm Clouds - 4,5/5

10. Cotton Camp - 4/5

11. Broken Banks - 3,5/5

12. Sheet Rain - 4/5

13. Whispers - 3/5

14. Little Rivers And Little Rose - 4,5/5

15. Hopeless Anger - 4/5

16. Whispers in the Rain - 4/5

Final Note : " Dust And Dreams" is an album who carries the listener to a world of sensations. Sad for moments, powerful at times, Camel barely gives a breathe to our emotions in almost an hour of music.

4,5+4+3,5+4+4,5+5+4+4,5+4,5+4+3,5+4+3+4,5+4+4 = 65,5

65,5 : 16 = 4,09

Excellent addition to any prog music collection

Curiosity: In a certain way, Dust and Dreams relates to Latimer and Hoover's imigration from the UK and settling in California, USA.

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Send comments to Marquęs_Prög (BETA) | Report this review (#54905)
Posted Sunday, November 06, 2005 | Review Permalink
2 stars Though this is the best album from the "resurrected" Camel era (with the possible exeption of "A Nod and a Wnk", which I haven't heard), it accomplishes little besides re-establishing them as an actual prog band. Like many concept albums (including "The Snow Goose", arguably Camel's towering achievement), it's basically a lengthy suite divided into short segments; and, like most such albums (though unlike "The Snow Goose"), it consists of weak, mediocre material and ends up boring and unengaging.Stylistically, it's one of the most symphonic-sounding albums in the Camel catalogue, based around keyboards rather than drums and guitars for the majority of the album, although the "rock" moments are, of course, also present, for example in "Mother Road" (which is very reminiscent of "Stationary Traveller"). Some tracks do hint at the intricate side of classic Camel, such as "Hopeless Anger" , where Latimer attempts some sinister riffing to great effect, but on the whole, the music doesn't have much to offer. Though I guess that if you like to simply listen to music without analysing it, this album may be quite enjoyable.

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Send comments to Pafnutij (BETA) | Report this review (#55908)
Posted Friday, November 11, 2005 | Review Permalink
2 stars I must admit, i never understood enthusiasm o this album. First side is just a collection of popish songs (good for radio perhaps), which lack energy or beauty. They're quite nice, but far below the possibilities of Camel. Side two is instrumental - a bit of pseud-orchestral music, that sound like film soundtrack - rather mediocre soundtrack. We have here few good moments, good guitar playing, but the whole thing is rater boring. What's more - the whole thing sounds plastic, especially some of orchestrations made on keyboard. The best track is - IMHO - End of the line. It's far worse than such great albums as "Snow-goose" or "Harbour of tears". One of the least interesting Camel albums.

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Send comments to kajetan (BETA) | Report this review (#70143)
Posted Tuesday, February 21, 2006 | Review Permalink
belz
PROG REVIEWER
2 stars 2.4/5.0Another concept album, and not a bad one! This one is about the drought and the severe depression in the 30s which affected american farmers. There are some highlights on this album, with great solos (I particularly like the one on "Cotton camp" even if this is only a fading rememberance of what Camel's solos used to be 15 years before). Unfortunately, the album lacks the intensity or emotion which are Camel trademark. That said, this is still an improvement on their last studio album but still this is closer to pop music or new age than to prog. This one is half-way between a "collector/ fan only" and a "good, but not essential" album. 2.4/5.0

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Send comments to belz (BETA) | Report this review (#76739)
Posted Sunday, April 30, 2006 | Review Permalink
4 stars After a long wait the world was treated with another new album by Camel, and it turned out to be possibly their finest work since the glory days of mid-seventies. Again a mostly instrumental concept album, this was probably the mellowest Camel work to date. The opening melody of Dust Bowl sets a very melancholic and beautiful mood for the album, and the only thing bothering me a bit is the drum sounds which are too electric. A very strong and recommendable album for everyone enjoying this mellower brand of prog.

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Send comments to Pekka (BETA) | Report this review (#87409)
Posted Wednesday, August 16, 2006 | Review Permalink
Mellotron Storm
PROG REVIEWER
3 stars This record and the following studio releases certainly reveal a more mature CAMEL, with music that is thought provoking as well as emotional. I agree with "hibou" that after listening to this album I feel like I would after watching a movie. Listening to the fears and hopes of the people who lived in America at that time of history (based on the novel "The Grapes Of Wrath).

Some of my favourite songs are "Go West", a song that I can't get out of my head, featuring gentle vocals and piano, a song of hope. "Rose Of Sharon" features male and female vocals and a nice guitar melody. "End Of The Line" is a mellow tune with a tasteful guitar solo and guitar throughout, a very inspiring song. The last half of the record is all instrumental, check out "Storm Clouds" and the next song "Cotton Camp", this is where Andy Latimer shines, with some amazing guitar playing.

I guess "Dust" is about the reality, and where the fear springs from, and "Dreams" is all about hope isn't it ?

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Send comments to Mellotron Storm (BETA) | Report this review (#96918)
Posted Thursday, November 02, 2006 | Review Permalink
infandous@exc
3 stars A new Camel is born.

This album marked the return of Camel and Andy Latimer (who at this point, essentially IS Camel) to recording albums and touring. And a fine return it is. This is not, however, a return to form, but a new and different version of the band. There were intimations of this in Nude, and even the horrible Stationary Traveler, but this is a different type of music from the 70's and 80's versions of the band.

The album is almost entirely instrumental, and has a melancholy atmosphere that suits the subject matter very well (Grapes Of Wrath). Only 4 vocal tracks out of a total of 16 songs. Of these, I like Go West the most, sounding very much like a mellow Floyd tune from the Wall era or the post-Waters period (but Latimer always had a Gilmour like quality to his voice). Of the others, Rose Of Sharon has the most interesting structure and vocal parts. The other two don't do much for me but are not particularly bad. The second half of the album has some rather sublime instrumental sections, even getting fairly intense at some points. A lot of the tracks are short interludes, but I think they all work pretty will in the big picture.

Overall, a decent album and one I pull out still when I'm in the mood for something mellow with good guitar work. I'll give it 3 stars but it is probably closer to 3.5.

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Send comments to (BETA) | Report this review (#110857)
Posted Tuesday, February 06, 2007 | Review Permalink
ZowieZiggy
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars Some ages ago, Camel released their last very good album ("Moonmadness" in 1976 IMO). The last original album was recorded in 1984. So, what did Camel (I should say Latimer) do in the meantime ?

Well, for a few years he was fighting with lawyers to get some due royalties and to evacuate the problems with their former manager. After winning those two battles, another one will start. And this one is rather difficult to understand.

Changes in their record company (Decca) made it clear that Camel had to try and put an end to their contract (already started ten years earlier). Both amically agreed to do so on April tenth, 1985. Latimer, who had already started a new project (which will become "Dust & Dreams") was free to sign with another label. He got contacts with EG (which released Fripp, Eno, Ferry - not too bad...) but after six months of useless talks Latimer put an end to the negociations while he was asked why Peter Frampton had left the band...(this anectdotes reminds me the true one as well of the Floyd who were asked by one record company executive sitting in front of them : "Which one is Pink" - this famous phrase will be featured in "Have A Cigar" from WYWH).

To avoid more waste of time and energy, Latimer decided to sell his London house and he settled to the US MID 1988. At this time, he decided to re-write the second half of "Dust". He used the money from the sales of his house to build a small studio where "Dust" was recorded and produced. He thought that with a finished product, it would be a formality to find a record company to distribute and promote it. WRONG.

After an improductive attempt with Virgin, Latimer used the money which was left to setup his own production firm : Camel Production. That's how he produced "Dust" himself. With sales that took off, the company organized a world tour and got the license to release old Camel works to CD. Their first album reaching the bins at the same time as "Dust" on a CD format.

But the biggest shock was to come : it was the shock of unprecedented success and one can only be happy for Andrew. Having put so many time and effort and take up with success is just great. Congratulations Andrew.

So, this was the story behind the scene. But what are we going to get with this album, musically ?

Another concept album, my friend. Not boring at all, with nice melodies and good compositions. Celestial and emotional moments : we are brought back to the early Camel. How nice a come back ! I am really glad to say this since I was rather harsh with Camel during their long time spent in the wilderness (but I have been equally harsh with lots of other bands I love, and this will be an on-going process : when poor stuff is released, whatever the name, poor rating will apply).

My only problem with "Dust" is that there are too many short songs here (but this is a Camel trademark when releasing a concept album). Apart from this, I really like it. It is not a masterpiece (but this will be achieved later) but a very good album.

Seven out of ten, but I will rounded up to four stars to salute Andrew's perseverance.

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Send comments to ZowieZiggy (BETA) | Report this review (#112048)
Posted Tuesday, February 13, 2007 | Review Permalink
Prog-jester
PROG REVIEWER
3 stars Bring my CAMEL back!!!

Sweet and AORish, this is neither Symphonic CAMEL of first 4 albums nor Canterburish CAMEL of late 70s nor Arty CAMEL of the first 80s half. Reunion went lame I think, and only further albums like "Harbour of Tears" and "Rajaz" and a masterpiece of "A Nod and A Wink" proved that it wasn't in vain. I appreciate Latimer's talent and if "Dust and Dreams" would have been another band's album, I'd probably give it at least 4 stars. But for CAMEL's level it is a bit weak and uninspired - I think.

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Send comments to Prog-jester (BETA) | Report this review (#115553)
Posted Monday, March 19, 2007 | Review Permalink
Seyo
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Honorary Collaborator
2 stars On the surface, "Dust And Dreams" looks like the best and the most developed conceptual album CAMEL did ever since "Snowgoose" in 1975. Surely it blows away a handful of awful mediocre soft techno pop albums recorded from 1978-1984. Production and musicianship is almost perfect. Musical style can be described as "symphonic", not in the rock sense but rather in a moody, atmospheric meaning. The tones prevailing are sad, sorrowful and sometimes gloomy, which in a way try to depict the theme of Steinbeck's novels. The album is coherent as a whole and the listening process flows uniterrupted by sudden changes of tempo or volume. Lovers of New Age will probably love this album too.

However, a main ingredient of prog rock is missing: dynamics! "Dust and Dreams", depending on your expectations, can also sound too flat, boring, bedtime invoking muzak, that often touches the AOR-ish extravaganza and bombast, while lacking a strong artistic energy and statement. CAMEL (or Andy Latimer alone?) too often sounds like second-rate Alan Parsons Project or Sting in his most commercial, post-"Nothing Like the Sun" phase. Nothing terribly wrong with that, but in order to deserve better rating on this site, I expect much much more from a band...

And finally, I am sort of fed up with the British artists exploiting the American "go west" myths in order to sell well. The best artistic statements on the theme of particular historical, societal, cultural or even political events or myths have been usually created by the strong local personalities. So, in the case of American topical South-West I will always prefer Gram Parsons or GREEN ON RED. Uppps, sorry, they are not prog rock...

PERSONAL RATING: 3/5

P.A. RATING: 2/5

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Send comments to Seyo (BETA) | Report this review (#138619)
Posted Sunday, September 16, 2007 | Review Permalink
4 stars All in all, Dust and Dreams opens a new era of Camel, which keeps getting better in each album. I love Snow Goose, Moonmadness and Raindance, but there's no point in trying to ask Latimer to keep repeating the old magic. To me, this album is a Camel's most ear-candy effort, in a sense that it's a musically more mature, more AOR and symphonic at the same time. Like any other reviews had pointed out, the songs are based on Steinbeck's Grape of Wraths novel, that could reflect Mr Latimer's life in America. The first few notes mark the overall melancholy theme of the album, and really captures the listener. Latimer shines vocally and instrumentally here, most remarkably for the latter case is his guitars in the instrumental half of the album. With emotional performances like that, no lyrics are necessary, really. Cotton Camp and Hopeless Anger are my favorite tracks here featuring Andy Latimer at his best, almost reminds me of David Gilmore even.

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Send comments to terrylity (BETA) | Report this review (#138662)
Posted Sunday, September 16, 2007 | Review Permalink
5 stars CAMEL Dust and Dreams is just magic for me .this is a great album and desert more respect .this is an album full of emotioms,atmospheres, passion and a lot of feeling .and this is an album you will appreciate more if you listen from star to finish [ just like the snow goose ]great playing [like always] from Andrew Latimer and Colin Bass[this guys just kill me ] .my recomendation : if you are looking for something mellow with a lot of emotion and great guitar playing this is for you.

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Send comments to martinprog77 (BETA) | Report this review (#150567)
Posted Wednesday, November 14, 2007 | Review Permalink
kenethlevine
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Prog-Folk Team
4 stars It's hard to believe in retrospect that the elapsed time between "Stationary Traveller" and "Dust and Dreams" was less than 7 years, for it seemed like the group was long dead and buried when this self financed effort magically appeared. Such was the zeitgeist of the pre-internet era, where news about lesser known bands was few and far between, and poorly disseminated. Here it has been almost as long since "Nod and a Wink" and, even knowing there may never be another Camel album, we still feel plugged in.

"Dust and Dreams" began a new phase in the Camel saga, distinct from what came before in its more literary and poetic aspects. Its lineage would be "Snow Goose" and "Nude", yet the former had no lyrics and the latter used them sparingly. Latimer and Hoover pay homage to the great John Steinbeck with an effort that manages to channel the great hope and desperation of the "The Grapes of Wrath". For being almost overreachingly ambitious, it succeeds admirably. In fact, the entire first half is replete with beautiful ambient soundscapes balanced with sensitive well sung songs and soaring instrumental work that captures the moods of the novel. In particular, the sequence of "Mother Road", "Needles" and "Rose of Sharon" is a whirlwind of emotional grace. Camel is back!

The remaining 8 tracks segue together as one instrumental. Despite losing my interest in places with the approximation of slow moving or stifled progress on the part of the characters, it reaches high points in the lovely "Little Rivers and Little Rose" and the elegant "Hopeless Anger".

An unfettered effort in every sense, "Dust and Dreams" demonstrates what can be accomplished by genuine inspiration and respect for everyone involved, especially fans.

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Send comments to kenethlevine (BETA) | Report this review (#171044)
Posted Wednesday, May 14, 2008 | Review Permalink
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!

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Send comments to SouthSideoftheSky (BETA) | Report this review (#178032)
Posted Thursday, July 24, 2008 | Review Permalink
Tarcisio Moura
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars After a period of mediocre, lacklustre albums (1978-84) and contractual hassles (1985-90), Andrew Latimer came back with not only his own Camel productions, but also with a very fine, kind of back-to-roots, CD that redeemed him of his latest releases in a time everyone thought Camel was a complete washed up band. It was a nice surprise indeed and opened the way for a string of excellent releases he would eventually put out in the next years.

Dust And Dreams is a concept album that shows Latimer (the only original member left) back in form, playing his trademark beautiful guitar licks and leaving behind the horrible 80´s pop attempts of that decade. Ok, a couple of songs do sound like an Alan Parsons pastiche (Mother Road being the obvious one), but most of the time the music is fine, prog rock tunes with great, emotional guitar, dreamy keyboards landscapes, convincing vocals and fine rhythm section, Dust And Dreams is a CD that grows on you with each listening, It is very emotional and inspired, so it´s easy to enjoy from start to finish.

Production is very good and he is backed by an outstanding team of musicians that includes the faithful Calin Bass and legendary keyboardsman Tom Scherpenzeel (Kayak).

Conclusion: not really a masterpiece like The SnowGoose Or Moonmadness, but a great comeback anyway. And Camel´s best work in more than 13 years. My final rating is something between 3,5 and 4 stars. Recommended, specially to the ones that lost any hope that this band could cut it after Stationary Traveller..

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Send comments to Tarcisio Moura (BETA) | Report this review (#228431)
Posted Sunday, July 26, 2009 | Review Permalink
Bonnek
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Prog Metal Team
2 stars After 7 years of silence, Camel returns to the ambitions of stylings of Nude. Dust and Dreams is an album that has pleased many Camel fans so it might please you as well, who knows. I think it has its moments but I can't see how this is any better then Nude was.

It all starts very good really. After a short setting of the mood, Go West continues the style of emotive song writing that had flourished on Stationary Traveler. Especially Latimer's voice is in great shape again. Just like Nude, the album forms one symphonic unity. A piece like Dusted Out must be listened to in that context. It's an overtly bombastic orchestral piece but it works quite well as an interlude to the next track.

Mother Road is another song in the style of Stationary Traveler but I don't like the chord changes after the verses here. It's a sort of bridge that doesn't lead anywhere, the actual break after the second bridge is really painful. It's very short, luckily, but it's nevertheless a deep fall into a particularly sticky cheese pit, one that the album can't seem to crawl out again.

On Rose of Sharon, Camel even touches musical territory here, or rather a sentimental duet between a male and female voice. The guitar in the middle is adequate as usual but can't save the song.

The album continues to balance new age instrumental pieces against sentimental sung parts. End of The Line isn't bad but dwells in the same plastic midi-land that Hammill had moved to in that period. Mainly for that reason, the remainder of the album can't grab my attention at all.

It's hard to rate really, I'd be around 2.5 stars somewhere but that has to be rounded some way or other. As it is decidedly less then Nude which I gave 3 stars, I think I'll have to condemn this one to the fans-only territory.

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Send comments to Bonnek (BETA) | Report this review (#254692)
Posted Monday, December 07, 2009 | Review Permalink
Matti
COLLABORATOR
Neo-Prog Team
4 stars This was Camel's first studio album since Stationary Traveller (1984). Again they concentrate on the instrumental side with a couple of vocal tracks included, and probably the closest comparison in Camel discography up to that point was Nude (1982), which also was a concept album in the Snow Goose manner. Nude may have more variety and it is easier to get to know closely, but it was perhaps more uneven as well. Dust And Dreams is very rewarding Camel album - full of soaring guitar and the melodic style that Camel is so well known of - but it's not music you can immediately memorize after the first listenings. Maybe the main reason for being harder to "learn" is that it consists of 16 tracks in 48 minutes, none of them bad but in the end quite samey. Also the narrative level is not very visible. I mean, it's easier to enjoy as music only: it would only disturb the concentration, trying to follow which one of the short tracks is playing at the moment, since even the titles reveal quite a little. Thank God the flow is quite unbroken, with this many tracks.

The literary inspiration was John Steinbeck's The Grapes of Wrath, a famous novel about a poor American family heading to California in hope for a better life. (A shame to say it's not among the dozen or so books by Steinbeck that I've read. Does this album make me more willing to read it? Maybe a little bit, but more like a reminder of the book's existence than as a musical interpretation of it.)

Collaborating with Andy Latimer are e.g. keyboarist Ton Scherpenzeel (Kayak), familiar from Stationary Traveller, and the long-time Camel bassist Colin Bass, with David Paton & Mae McKenna sharing the scarce vocal duties with Andy himself. A recommendable album for all Camel fans.

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Send comments to Matti (BETA) | Report this review (#294231)
Posted Thursday, August 12, 2010 | Review Permalink
4 stars In a very gentle, sound effects a great calm, this is the album of camel, Dust and Dream. All in finesse, restraint, titles are slow and affects the level of emotion, beauty and tranquility. The sound of the keyboards are very sophisticated and dramatic. Rose of Sharon on one can hear a female voice giving an originality Camel, Camel, but to let the past seven years and if the album is very polished, the charm is different, and I admit regretting the time The Single Factor and Stationary Traveller Camel although still a very large group, he just changed by plunging into the quest for purity, with less risk-taking will lose a little strength. Camel makes the album here in the Camel label and thus becomes an independent, rare for a great progressive band.

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Send comments to Discographia (BETA) | Report this review (#314171)
Posted Thursday, November 11, 2010 | Review Permalink
octopus-4
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
RIO/Avant/Zeuhl Team
3 stars "Stationary Traveller" was a prophetic title as just after the Camel was stopped by a lawsuite for seven years. After fixing the legal issue Latimer came back with a new lineup including only Colin Bass, Ton Scherpenzeel (Kayak) and Davit Paton from the previous ones.

This is the first album released by Camel Productions, the label setup by Andy Latimer, and the album didn't have unfortunately a good advertising. This means that I knew of its existence in the shop when I went to purchase Harbour of Tears.

It's a concept album, but I didn't realise it immediately even if I have seen the John Ford's movie inspired by the Steinbeck's novel "The Grapes of Wrath". The Big depression and the meigration through the route 66 is the same that a lot of people did in those years, one of them Woody Guthrie.

Unfortunately the album is not so solid as the book and the first half of the movie. The theme of emigrants will be better exploited in Harbour of Tears. The limit of Dust and Dreams stays in the high number of short songs. Even if they can be meant as story's chapters, they don't give the idea of a concept album. At the end I think that "Go West" would have been enough as tribute to the Nobel's winner book. I think it's also the best song of the album.

Of course there is Latimer's guitar and I really like Bass and Scherpenzeel, but this album is a step below both its predecessor Stationary Traveller and its successor Harbour of Tears. It's not a poor thing like The Single Factor but neither a masterpiece.

3 honest stars.

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Send comments to octopus-4 (BETA) | Report this review (#373115)
Posted Wednesday, January 05, 2011 | Review Permalink
lazland
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars Camel returned to the fray in the 1990's, after an extended hiatus owing to legal wrangles, with this, the first on their own record label, and what a return it was.

Dust & Dreams is a concept album based upon John Steinbeck's classic novel, The Grapes of Wrath. It is very much the case that if, like me, you were moved to tears by reading the calamities inflicted upon the main characters in that novel, you will appreciate just what a fine job Andy Latimer, ably assisted by his wife Susan Hoover, put in attempting to set the piece to music. For example, the short instrumental, Dusted Out is barren in its beauty, and closing your eyes, you can visualise the scenes that Joad returned to from a spell in prison. The understated emotion, and fine female/male vocal interplay, on the delicate Rose Of Sharon is superb, and Latimer plays a lovely solo midway through and towards the denouement. Listening to tracks such as these, and, indeed, the whole trilogy of albums in that decade, makes one wonder just why on earth the band did not enjoy the huge commercial success that they so thoroughly deserved.

The best symphonic prog has often, rightly, been described as latter day classical music set to modern instrumentation. Not many better examples can be found than in this and other Camel works. Milk N' Honey, for example, is a superb instrumental piece that describes, in pure orchestration, the promise of a better life out West. Lyrics are not needed. The keyboards by Scherpenzeel and Harriss are easily the equal of anything that the likes of Banks & Wakeman were putting out at this time. The shorter Whispers is quite simply a lovely piece of woodwind led classical interlude.

All of the band play exceptionally well, and Latimer, rightly, steals the show with both his guitar work and a very fine vocal performance. The End Of The Line highlights these multi talents in a nutshell. Nearly seven minutes of symphonic, thoughtful, rock heaven. Meanwhile, his crying guitar more than adequately pictures for us the shock of Cotton Camp. Better still is to come on the haunting Little Rivers And Little Rose, a gorgeous two minute pastiche that leads onto the heavier, angry, well titled Hopeless Anger.

The early, "classic" era, Camel albums, rightly, have a special place in the hearts of reviewers on Prog Archives. However, judging by the relatively few numbers of reviews for this and subsequent albums, I guess that many people had simply lost track of them by this time.

Well, from me, here is a very strong recommendation to go back and complete your collections. This is an excellent album from an excellent band, with sound and production values very much dragged beautifully into the modern era. This work stands up very strongly amongst their finest albums, and just goes to show what heights can be achieved given superb writing, playing, and thoughtful, intelligent interpretation.

Four stars. An excellent addition to any prog rock collection.

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Send comments to lazland (BETA) | Report this review (#393178)
Posted Thursday, February 03, 2011 | Review Permalink
Warthur
PROG REVIEWER
3 stars Camel - now very much the Andy Latimer Plus Friends Band - came back after a seven-year hiatus with Dust and Dreams, which on balance I'd say is partway towards being a return to form. Not quite on a par with their classic, it's still a mellow and enjoyable listen structured, as always with latter-day Camel, around Latimer's languid guitar. It's a fun album, but I find it rather bland and, at points, schmaltzy - there's points where it's too mellow, and it often lacks the liveliness and complexity of, say, Mirage or The Snow Goose. Still, classic-era Camel fans will probably find it more palatable than The Single Factor or Stationary Traveller.

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Send comments to Warthur (BETA) | Report this review (#607229)
Posted Tuesday, January 10, 2012 | Review Permalink
Gatot
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Honorary Collaborator
3 stars Play it loud, put the light off!

I almost forgot to write my views about this very good album by Camel. Well, I consider this is a very good one considering the smooth musical flow from start to end of the album with great guitar playing of Lattimer backed with excellent work of Kayak's Tom Scherpenzeel. As most of you have known very well that this is a concept album where the storyline is correctly backed up by the music nicely.

When I look into deep of this album I can see the melody part is nice even though not excellent. It suffices to tell the whole storyline as the music flows from one song to another. The transition from the atmospheric opening of Dust Bowl (1:54) to Go West (3:42) happens naturally as far as melody concern. As it is required by the story this opening parts really go quite slow with typical Camel's melody.

In terms of harmonies ie. how each instrument contributes in creating sounds and notes - this album is quite good as the join forces of guitar by Lattimer and keyboards by Scherpenzeel sounds really nice. Yes, there is Collin Bass involved here in this album but I do not see his dominant contribution. It's not his fault as the composition does not require dynamic bass playing. Simply said, the harmonies are more created through guitar, keyboards and vocals. Look at how Dusted Out (1:35) and Mother Road (4:15) go in terms of harmonies - you will find keyboards dominated sound combined with Floydian guitar solo. Yeah, I do enjoy it.

On complexity of the arrangement i.e. the degree in which the instrument (including vocal) being played by the musicians and how they generate a piece of music stream or segment of the music - I could say that this album has little complexities. It sounds everything flows in good predetermined order with practically no acrobatic segments. Well, I consider it as typical Camel music - quite simple in arrangements. There is basically little change of style i.e. how the style changes in a song which includes tempo changes and/ or heavy or soft musical sounds as most tracks are played in good structure and order - it flows natural, no abrupt changes. Therefore, with little complexities and minimum style change, the structural integrity is no longer a great challenge.

Overall, this album is very enjoyable especially if you listen to it in the evening when everyone is asleep and you play it loud with the light put off - Wow! It's a great experience! Enjoy the music peacefully - it flows naturally into your listening pleasure regardless you know the storyline or not - it doesn't matter at all! Keep on proggin' ...!

Peace on earth and mercy mild - GW

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Send comments to Gatot (BETA) | Report this review (#752287)
Posted Saturday, May 12, 2012 | Review Permalink
Evolver
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Crossover & JazzRock/Fusion Teams
4 stars After disappearing for the second half of the dismal 1980s, Camel reappeared with this album, inspired by that book most of us in the United States had to read in school, John Steinbeck's "The Grapes of Wrath". And while I don't think the music captues the the imagery of the book, as a prog album, this is one of Camel's finest.

The first half comes closest to what Andrew Latimer and the band seemed to be attempting to accomplish. It it a series of brooding rock pieces (mostly sounding like that bastion of Americana, Dire Straits), symphonic themed interludes, and just a but of that old Camel light prog fusion. It all is well written and performed, but had the album continued in the same way, it would not be as great as it actually turned out.

Beginning with Storm Clouds, we are suddenly treated to a suite of short pieces, climaxing in the wonderful Hopeless Anger, that rank with some of the best of Camel's music to date. The orchestral synth arrangements are lush and sweeping, the fusion based tracks are complex and sometimes energetic, the indiviual tracks blend seamlessly. I find I cannot stop repeated listenings of this haf of the album.

Welcome back, Camel.

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Send comments to Evolver (BETA) | Report this review (#1207138)
Posted Wednesday, July 09, 2014 | Review Permalink

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