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Camel - A Nod and a Wink CD (album) cover




Symphonic Prog

3.95 | 793 ratings

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3 stars Tired?? It wants to try??. Effort without connection. I honestly may not be the best one to review this record. I am an old Camel fan of their works when they had the original lineup of Latimer, Bardens, Ward & Ferguson and that combination was simply amazing and magical. Their second album Mirage was my first venture in and that entry, Snow Goose & Moonmadness will always be the definitive 3 that marks who Camel is. The songwriting between Andy and Peter was tremendous during that period. They divided after Rain Dances but by that time they had fractured the band by tossing out Ferguson, a move they later admitted was the beginning of the end. Rain Dances had some good moments and Breathless had only one song that really was Camel, the rest was a lame attempt at pop music trying to appeal to a larger audience adn pleace Decca records. They had pressured Camel steadily for hit singles and that band was anything but a hit single band and that is what I loved about them. Andy Latimer has tried to fit into that arena a few times but it never worked. He admitted in an article that "You just have to go with who you are and not try and be something else; it never works." I own every album they have released but with each album I sense less of a spark.

So I have to accept that there will never be another entry that captures that old flavor. It is ridiculous to even expect that any album will have the aura that was part of that old band. Latimer alone writes some good work and his wife Susan Hoover adds a lot to it. I just sense music that tries to recapture that time but does not make it. His guitar work is an example.

This album has some good work on it but nothing on it hits me with an "Ah Ha!" moment. I do miss the layered keyboard work that Bardens contributed and I think that is one of the reasons I struggle with these later albums. Guy is a great player but Peter had a way of playing that was unique. Andy tries to do too much himself and it doesn't sound as much like a band's work as it does a solo effort. I do hear a few things that I like. That last few minutes of the title track had a good hook in it. The song Fox Hill is interesting but the guitar solo was tired. "Squigley Fair" was a pretty decent track with some good layered sound.

I agree with many of the reviewers that it has some boredom through it. The last song "For Today" is essentially the "Ice" song for the album. He is an emotional player for sure and I do not think he tries to copy David Gilmour. I think that style for him is who he is and any similarity is purely coincidental.

Andy is way up there in years and as of March 2023 I cannot imagine he will be putting out any more albums unless his health is good. Reading the reviews I respect the opinions of everyone knowing that each of us is affected by music differently. But I can only see this as one more attempt to try and recapture the days of past and it just does not reach anywhere close. A good work but just not the Camel I am so fond of. I cannot be since 3 out of 4 are gone. That is my fault! In all I can give it 3 stars but nothing more.

Sidscrat | 3/5 |


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