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




Symphonic Prog

3.95 | 642 ratings

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4 stars Review Nš 116

'A Nod And A Wink' is the fourteenth studio album of Camel and is also their last original studio album until now. It was released in 2002. It's true they released a new version of 'The Snow Goose' in 2013, but this isn't an original new work. The album was dedicated to Peter Bardens, their former keyboardist and one of the main composers of the group with Andrew Latimer, in their first musical period. Sadly Bardens passed way in January of the same year, in 2002.

The line up on the album is Andrew Latimer (vocals, flute, guitars and keyboards), Guy LeBlanc (backing vocals and keyboards), Colin Bass (backing vocals and bass guitar), Denis Clement (drums), Terry Carelton (backing vocals and drums) and J.R. Johston (backing vocals).

'A Nod And A Wink' has seven tracks. The first track 'A Nod And A Wink', is the title track and was written by Latimer, Hoover and LeBlanc. It's an incredible song to open the album and represents one the greatest moments on it. This is also one of the lengthiest songs composed by them. It's a song where the music flows constantly and has also a great musical structure. This is a great epic song that moves beautifully and where the vocals fit very well. The second track 'Simple Pleasures' written by Latimer and Hoover is a very beautiful and melancholic song and represents for me one of the most beautiful moments on the album. It has a great rhythm section very well accompanied by great guitar work. On this album, and particularly on this song, we can feel the similitude of the styles of Latimer and David Gilmour on guitars. However and despite that, I think Latimer has his own style. This is really a very enjoyable and beautiful song. The third track 'A Boy's Life' written by Latimer and Hoover is a song that begins very calm, with acoustic guitar and vocals. It's a song with different musical passages with calm and nice moments and fast and explosive moments. This is also a slow and an acoustic track. The second part of the song is really good and has a fantastic guitar work too. This is the song which is particularly dedicated to Bardens and it has in me strong emotional feelings. The fourth track 'Fox Hill' written by Latimer and Hoover is a happy song very well structured. This is a song with great electric guitar work, fantastic keyboards and good drumming work too. It has even a mini drum solo. It's an enjoyable song, very consistent, that delivers an excellent musical composition. This song reminds me strongly Genesis in Peter Gabriel's era, particularly the lengthy and great epic songs made by them, like 'The Battle Of Epping Forest'. It's probably Latimer's musical composition more close to Genesis' sound. I've no problem with that because, in the first place I love Genesis and in the second place the typical Camel's sound is always present all over the song. The fifth track 'The Miller's Tale' written by Latimer and Hoover is a short and sweet acoustic ballad in the typical Camel's style. The first part of the song begins with acoustic guitar played in Steve Hackett's style and the second part is a typical symphonic song. It's the simplest track on the album and is probably the weakest too. However, it's a very beautiful and a peaceful moment, with good flute and great acoustic strings works. I enjoy it very much. The sixth track 'Squigely Fair' written by Latimer is almost an instrumental song that takes us to the good old times of Camel in the 70's, and that reminds us strongly their third album 'The Snow Goose'. It's a song full of good flute and acoustic works which brings us an enjoyable and beautiful moment of peace and tranquillity. This is one of the highest moments on the album. The seventh and last track 'For Today' written by Latimer and LeBlanc is another song with a guitar sound very close to the floydian style. This is a song very well sung and with great guitar work, with a guitar solo really stunning, and also good drumming. Oh Boy. The final of the song is absolutely incredible and represents for me a real hymn to their music and to the progressive music in general. Here we can feel the emotion of the music at its peak. That is really astonishing. This is, in my humble opinion, a great and a perfect ending not only for this album but probably and sadly for their thirty years of career.

Conclusion: Fifteen years have passed since the release of this album, and due to Latimer's health problems, this was probably their last original studio work too. However, I think they can be proud to leave us a great musical legacy. Camel is one of the few groups that always maintained a certain musical coherence and never forgot their progressive roots. I want to leave my deep admiration and my personal thanks to one of the greatest and most important prog rock bands and to leave also my homage to Bardens. He was one of the finest keyboardists ever and his presence in the first musical period of Camel was one of the keys of their sound. He and Latimer are one of the best prog composers' duos of ever. 'A Nod And A Wink', is a truly masterpiece. It's very well produced and all songs have good arrangements. The quality of the musicians needs no comment. The album has a more melancholy and mellow style than earlier works of Camel, but it fits the process of getting older, not only Latimer, but also his fans from the past, of whom I'm one too.

Prog is my Ferrari. Jem Godfrey (Frost*)

VianaProghead | 4/5 |


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