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Camel A Nod and a Wink album cover
3.95 | 789 ratings | 50 reviews | 32% 5 stars

Excellent addition to any
prog rock music collection

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Studio Album, released in 2002

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. A Nod and a Wink (11:16)
2. Simple Pleasures (5:31)
3. A Boy's Life (7:20)
4. Fox Hill (9:09)
5. The Miller's Tale (3:34)
6. Squigley Fair (8:02)
7. For Today (10:40)

Total Time 55:32

Bonus track on Japan 2002 edition:
8. After All These Years (5:46)

Line-up / Musicians

- Andrew Latimer / vocals, guitars, flute, keyboards, producer
- Guy LeBlanc / keyboards, backing vocals
- Colin Bass / bass, backing vocals
- Denis Clement / drums

- Terry Carleton / drums (2,6,8), percussion, backing vocals (7)
- JR Johnston / backing vocals (7)

Releases information

Artwork: Michael Munday

CD Camel Productions - CP013CD (2002, UK)
CD Canyon International ‎- PMDI-01599 (2002, Japan) With 1 bonus track

Thanks to ProgLucky for the addition
and to projeKct for the last updates
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CAMEL A Nod and a Wink ratings distribution

(789 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(32%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(45%)
Good, but non-essential (18%)
Collectors/fans only (4%)
Poor. Only for completionists (2%)

CAMEL A Nod and a Wink reviews

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Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by loserboy
5 stars Well with one month to go to close 2002, I will say that although it has been a full year of great prog releases (BEARD's "Snow", PT's "In Absentia", GODSPEE's "Yanqui U.X.O.", ) my pick for the album of the year is CAMEL's "A Nod & A Wink". A couple of years back I was travelling with some friends thru the US chasing Sweden's "The FLOWER KINGS" who were on tour and remember picking up CAMEL's "Rajaz" in Boston. I remember sitting in the back of my friends car completely zoning out to the sweet sounds of this album and being totaly blown away. CAMEL's 2002 release "A Nod & A Wink" is also in parallel with "Rajaz" and is nothing short of amazing ! Andy Latimer is at IMHO his all time best writing and performing some of CAMEL's best tracks ever! His vocals and guitars are breathtaking as are the songs which are truely magical. This band sounds incredibly full of lustre and I think this may be the best CAMEL lineup yet. Andy is helped out by a number of other CAMEL'ites including Canada's own Guy Leblanc (NATHAN MAHL) on keyboards, Colin Bass (bass) and Denis Celment (drums). Andy Latimer obviously put his heart and soul into this album fittengly dedicating this deeply emotional album in loving memory to Pete Bardens... you will be missed Peter ! I would strongly recommend this album to all lovers of symphonic prog rock... "A Nod & A Wink" is anything short of spectatcular... essential music.
Review by lor68
4 stars Almost perfect, except on a few common places regarding the early GENESIS; the rest is characterized by simple lyrics (intentionally simplified, being under the perspective of a child), tasteful guitar solos as usual, sometimes in the vein of SANTANA; but tracks such as "Miller's Tale", "Squigely Fair" or "For today" are incredible sensible songs... instead "Fox Hill" is a sort of tribute to GENESIS, but always pleasant and remarkable!


Review by Chris S
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars It was a bit disappointing after the Rajaz offering but after repeated listens it is proving to be a great album. Not mighty just great! Highlights include the title track, Fox Hill and For Today. The Japanese version has an extra track on to calm the fans down due to delayed release which is beautiful, the name escapes me. This is arguably the best song of the lot. Try check it out.
Review by Matti
5 stars Very rarely a new release by a veteran band becomes a favourite album of that band but this did it instantly - and according to its ratings everyone seems to like it. It really might be THE most enjoyable, since usually every Camel has something less interesting. (I borrowed Rajaz too, that's also a good album but for those who seek mature, pastoral beauty in Camel, this is the one.) Lots of flutes, mostly quite peaceful, acoustically oriented sound and enough progressivity too. The longest title track is a perfect opener and the rest keeps that high standard.

A small minus for me is the tongue-in-cheek dialectic singing in 'Fox Hill'. Apart from that I think Andy Latimer has never before sung better than on this sensitive album. One of my favourite Camel tracks has long been instrumental 'Ice' (-79) but it has a strong competitor in as atmospheric 'For Today' - with a similar moog? solo - which also lyrically moves the listener. "Always live for today." - Looking back the 30 years of Camel, Latimer dedicated this album to the late Peter Bardens. Most likely pleases old Camel fans but frankly, this could please ANY music lover who doesn't feel at home with today's rock trends. There's still makers and listeners of music from the heart in this crazy world! Beautiful cover art fits the music perfectly.

Review by Easy Livin
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator / Retired Admin
3 stars A nod off

A more recent album from Camel, who are now effectively Andy Latimer and variable supporting cast. The title refers to the fact that the tracks are intended to reflect some of the musical influences of Camel, and more specifically of Latimer.

With erstwhile collaborator Ton Scherpenzeel out of the picture, primarily due to his fear of flying, song-writing duties are shared by Latimer, his wife Susan Hoover and keyboard player Guy LeBlanc. As a whole the album is extremely laid back, even in Camelâ??s terms, with most of the tracks spinning out to considerable lengths. Take the opening title track for example. It lasts for over 12 minutes, yet has little to say. After a lullaby like intro, it becomes a lengthy guitar and synth workout, a bit like an ambient â??Lunar seaâ? (â??Moonmadnessâ?). This sets the scene for most of the album, with Latimer rarely challenging himself performance wise.

â??Fox hillâ? is a bit more jaunty, although I found the heavily (and deliberately) accented vocals rather irritating. Even here though, the track includes a relaxed, rambling guitar solo. â??Squigely fairâ? repeats the accented vocals, although it has more of a â??Snowgooseâ? feel to it, with some pleasant flute-work. The attempted lightening of the normally serious mood of Camel in these two songs, is to my ears misguided.

The feature track is the closing â??For todayâ?. The piece was written as a tribute to the courage of someone Susan Hoover refers to as the â??High diverâ?. This was one of the people who was trapped in the World Trade Center on September 11th, and chose to jump to his death. The track has a suitably sombre feel to it, while featuring some truly uplifting lead guitar. Thereâ??s a real Dave Gilmour sound to the weeping guitar solo before it transforms into a more traditional Latimer sound. The track closes with some almost hymnal harmonic vocals, and a period of silence.

As a whole, â??A nod and a winkâ? is just a little too laid back, verging at times on the ambient. Latimer is clearly playing well within himself, although the greater use of flute and keyboards does offer a welcome diversity. The tracks are not generally strong enough to justify their extended length, the notable exception being the superb â??For todayâ?. Not a bad album by any means though, and one which Camel fans should find agreeable.

Review by Zitro
3 stars 3.5 Stars

What is it? A laid-back album by Camel. Happy, slow, symphonic, and light-hearted.

Their previous albums were very similar, symphonic, slow, and guitar-driven. Here, Latimer finally stops trying to be David Gilmour and making all songs sound similar to each other. This marks somewhat of an improvement in their music. The main problems though are the patches of boredom in this disc, and the lack of creativity in their songs (some sound very familiar to older songs from them)

The album begins with the title track which shows how the music would be like for their last offering. It fails at being interesting, but succeeds as being a soft symphonic rock epic not below their standards. Simple Pleasures sounds familiar to a superior track from them. A Boy's Life has some interesting moments, but fails at being excellent. Fox hill is good, but suffers from the same problem. The Miller's Tale is another unoriginal song that sounds familiar to an older tune from them. Squiguely Fair is the 2nd strongest track of the album, containing few boring material, and very interesting moments. The last track, however, is what gives this album 3.5 stars: a wonderful, majestic, and anthemic symphonic rocker about a person who jumped off the World Trade Center in 9/11. The emotion heard on this song is too much to describe in words.

For Today stands as my favourite song from Camel. It is even better than Ice.

Hear it, if you are a Camel fan, get this CD and experience the beauty found in that song.

Highlights: Squigely Fair, For Today Let Downs: Not any track in particular. Just random spots of boredom scattered.

My Grade : B/C

Review by Mellotron Storm
3 stars 3.5 stars. This is a reflective record with a nod to the past. The band was celebrating 30 years of making music when they recorded this album, and actually dedicate the record to the late Peter Bardens. The theme of the record seems to be looking back at ones youth, as several of the songs, and the album cover reveal .

"For Today" pays homage to the heroes of 9/11, again looking back. The bonus track is called "After All These Years" and is one of the better songs on the album, a slow, lazy tune with beautiful guitar melodies throughout. The title track is an 11 plus minute song that opens with samples before the flute comes in followed by guitar. And then we have the all too familiar vocals of Andy Latimer. A very full sound comes in at 5 minutes. "Simple Pleasures" features percussion and vocals in this reflective, melancholic song. The lyrics are great, as are the guitar melodies.

"A Boy's Life" is a nice mellow, soothing tune with lazy guitar melodies and Andy's warm vocals. "Fox Hill" seems to be a nod to GENESIS, i've never heard Andy sing like this in this funny uptempo song. "The Miller's Tale" opens with birds singing followed by acoustic guitar and some orchestration. The sound of the rooster crowing signals the start of "Squigley Fair" that features some tasteful guitar melodies throughout. "For Today" is such an amazing song, both lyrically and instrumentally.This is one of CAMEL's most emotional songs, and one of their best period. As Andy starts to play 2 1/2 minutes in I was so reminded of David Gilmour. And it just seems like Latimer just plays and plays and plays, as he did on "Ice".

For me this record isn't as good as their last three records, but it's still well worth checking out.

Review by ZowieZiggy
3 stars Camel's come back since 1991 has brought some marvelous works. It is by far my preferred period (even if the trio "Mirage", "Snow Goose" and "Moonmadness" was very good as well). During their new era, they not only released great studio work, but they also produced two of their best live ones (actually their best ones IMO).

To be complete, I would rather say that it corresponds more to Andrew's work than to a band's work. He has always been the major driving force of the band, even if very important members left their mark on Camel's music (Bardens for sure and Sinclair to a lesser extent).

This might well be the last Camel studio album since their web-site has remained silent for a long time now. I guess that we'll have here and there some "lost jewels" released in the years to come. Hopefully, one of these would be a live record from the "Rajaz" tour.

Since there were no tour organized for supporting "Nod & A Wink" we cannot expect too much on this front. As far as I know, the only tracks ever played from "A Nod And A Wink" were : "Fox Hill" and "For Today" live.

Now, what's available here ?

Since it is not a concept album, tracks are rather long (like in "Rajaz") which is a feature that I usually appreciate.

The title track, which is the longest one, is rather dull and monotonous. Little interesting moment and definitely not a great opener. Hopefully the rest of the album will be superior.

The very melancholic mood of "Simple Pleasures" reminds me "Straight To My Heart" from "Rajaz". It kick off in its second half with a great guitar break. It is one of my fave from this album.

"A Boy's Life" features a dull intro. But the whole track is in the same vein. I'm afraid that so far, this album is far much weaker than its three predecessors.

"Fox Hill" starts as their poor output from the eighties. Poppy, uninspired with no feeling. It develops into a keyboard solo with poor melody. It reminds me of Genesis while they were attempting to re-create epics with the release of longer tracks ("Driving The Last Pike" or "Fading Lights" for instance). But as Genesis, Camel will quite fail in its attempt. Producing a long track does not imply that it is a good one. It is one the poorest here. But we remain in the same territories with "The Miller's Tale", unfortunately.

Then, all of a sudden, we finally have a very good track. "Squigley Lady" is a travel through time. One is transported in the "Snow Goose" period. Very subtle flute and good acoustic work in the background. For five minutes, it is really an enchantment. Then we have some awful vocals (fortunately, they only last for thirty seconds). This tranquil song brings you peace and tranquility. One of the highlights.

"For Today" is also a good track, mainly thanks to a brilliant guitar solo from Andrew. Again, emotion at its peak. It's just a pity that these beautiful moments are too scarce on this album. Vocal closing part is, for once, very nice and poignant.

A Japan import version features the track "After All These Years" to close the album. It is a brilliant number, really. Andrew delivers a vibrant solo in this last Camel (?) song. Really a valuable bonus track : superior to half of the regular studio ones. It lasts for 5'46".

In general, the tone is rather boring and uninspired during the fist half of this work, except "Simple Pleasures". Vocal parts are real bad for most of them. Fortunately, we get some great intrumental parts but this is not enough to create a great record. This is by far the weakest Camel effort since their come back. This is maybe the reason that Andrew put a hold to it ?

It will also be the time for Andrew to thank all the band members that have crossed the Camel's road for the last thirty years. He will dedicate this work to Peter Bardens who had just passed away. It might be considered as an "au-revoir", but there are also some reasons to believe that maybe the Camel adventure is not yet over. Andrew will write in the liner notes : "I look forward to the next thirty years and the inevitable changes that will surely come". Let's hope that this is more a stop than an end.

I would have preferred to end my Camel reviews with a higher rating. How great would it be to have ended with a type of "Rajaz" effort ! Thanks very much Andrew and Peter for the great songs you have produced. You will hold a special place in my musical heart.

Three stars.

Review by Gatot
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars Dedicated to Peter Bardens (1945 - 2002)

That's basically what Andy Latimer wrote on 27th June 2002 for the sleeve note of this album. I t has been 30 years Camel had been in music industry with many personnel changes only Andy Latimer remains in the band. This is similar with King Crimson where Robert Fripp has been the only constant member of the band. And Camel was recognized and respected as the band with excellent compositions combining mellow to medium tempo kind of music. While King Crimson has evolved their music started with their "Discipline" album, Camel's music has been generally same in style from its debut album until this album's release. "A Nod and A Wink" commemorates Camel's 30 years of existence in progressive music. Through this album, Collin Bass, the bass player during the early years of Camel returned back in the band. Well, actually Camel means Andy Latimer, I would say.

Looking at the artwork, it clicked me to a novel by Paulo Coelho titled "The Alchemist" especially the shadow of a child (like the shepherd in that novel) and a horse, plus night time nuance. The opening track "A Nod and A Wink" gives a clear picture about the situation, lyrical-wise. It starts beautifully with an ambient sounds depicting night situation followed wonderfully by flute work by Andy Latimer. The flute and its accompanying acoustic setting make the intro of the song is truly attractive for those especially love symphonic or neo progressive music. The song moves beautifully with low to medium register notes singing style - starting with "Goodnight. Tired little eyes. Time to climb the wooden hill" - and followed with stunning guitar solo ala Andy Latimer. It's truly an excellent opening track.

The second track "Simple Pleasures" enters beautifully just after the first track "A Nod and A Wink" ends. The basic rhythm section comprises bass guitar, keyboard, drum and a simple percussion (a tom sound) that falls at the end of the signature and it enriches the song. Latimer sings with static sound of percussion and some guitar fills in addition to the rhythm section. What's so interesting is when Latimer finishes his first lyrical verse, the music is followed with a relatively long guitar solo in the vein of David Gilmour of Pink Floyd - but with Latimer's own style. Wow! I really love this track, it's so enjoyable and relaxing, really!

"A Boy's Life" (hmm. again .. the title reminds me to that "The Alchemist" novel) starts with acoustic guitar fills accompanying Latimer's singing "I try to see through your eyes ." in relatively flat melody with low register voice notes. Right after the first lyrical verse completes, the music moves with music interlude and at approx 2'38" it provides break demonstrating acoustic guitar fills and soft keyboard work - it's really nice. Latimer also provides howling guitar at approx 4'20 which then brings the music into full blast where electric guitar takes long nice solo. It's really pleasurable enjoying this song. I am really glad that Camel still consistent in delivering excellent composition. Until now I have been listening three excellent songs and let's continue the journey to the fourth track: "Fox Hill".

"Fox Hill" opens in uplifting mood with relatively medium to fast tempo - at least it's faster than the previous three tracks. Latimer sings in higher register notes Collin Bass starts to demonstrate his great basslines at 1'20. At approx 1'40 the music gives a nice break with different music style where the piano provides accentuated rhythm section (like Supertramp's music) and Latimer sings differently. His singing style this time reminds me to The Sensational Alex Harvey Band's. After that, the guitar solo brings the music moves forward dynamically intertwined by keyboard by Guy LeBlanc. Denis Clemet on drums is also given a chance to do solo at approx 5'02. Even though this song lacks catchy melody but the style changes are really excellent and it makes me enjoying this album better.

"The Miller's Tale" starts with an ambient bird sounds followed beautifully by acoustic guitar fills and then soft keyboard solo. "And the two friends went home .." sings Latimer to start the first verse. The keyboard sound at back ground makes a vintage sound layered by great acoustic guitar work. AT approx 1'56 the song moves into nice interlude which brings the listeners into something like movie soundtrack.

"Squigely Fair" starts with uplifting mood music led by guitar solo in relatively long period until 1'56 when flute takes over the role and it moves into nice breaks with Collin Bass tight basslines. Flute makes the song very enjoyable especially when it starts at 2'56 where the flute sound is something interesting like Ian Anderson's flute work.

"For Today" concludes the album beautifully with a very nice piano solo in mellow mood. When Latimer starts to sing, the piano work is replaced by acoustic guitar rhythm. At 2'20 Latimer gives great maneuver of his guitar with Floydian style backed by long sustain keyboard work at the back. The guitar solo is really stunning.

Overall, this is an excellent addition to any prog music collection.

Peace on earth and mercy mild - GW

Review by kenethlevine
4 stars Camel's last album to date is their most reflective and consciously nostalgic. So ambient is it at times that I find myself drifting off, something that rarely happened in the previous umpteen recordings. Yet in subsequent airings those same passages reassure me that we are here confronted by a more mature, greying Camel, with the mellow wisdom of age. This Camel has been through it all and is ready to accept what comes next.

Andy's lead guitar remains prominent, mining that bluesy vein so convincingly in "Simple Pleasure", or striking an expectant mood in the marvelous sprawling and career spanning title cut. His flutes also play a starring role here and there, especially in the sublime "Squigely Fair". Guy Leblanc provides sympathetic keyboard support. The absence of any other lead singer turns out not to be a pitfall, as Andy conducts himself admirably during the admittedly spare and understated vocal sections. One of Camel's most beautiful songs ever is the closer, "For Today", which is an emotional high on which to end not only an album but possibly a career. It is in the tradition of other epilogues like "Ice" and "Long Goodbyes", sweetly melancholic yet ultimately triumphant.

Like a sophisticated and well aged beverage, this final outing to date by Camel is to be savoured slowly and often, rather than devoured and forgotten. True, other bands might not get the same patient treatment by prog listeners, but few others have deserved it as much as Camel. ;)

Review by SouthSideoftheSky
4 stars A nod towards Jethro Tull and a wink towards Genesis

A Nod And A Wink is, in my opinion, preferable over the previous Rajaz album in almost every respect. These two albums are like night and day - and if we allow ourselfs to take the metaphor seriously, then Rajaz is the night and A Nod And A Wink the day. The respective sound and feeling of the two albums are very different indeed, with A Nod And A Wink having a much "warmer" and "lighter" sound and also being less serious, less mellow and a bit more "whimsical" in a (mostly) good way.

While there were almost no flutes on Rajaz, there are a lot of them here. And the flutes are played in a variety of different styles, one of which is a nod towards Ian Anderson of Jethro Tull. The drums are also much more elaborated and, most importantly, they feel more alive compared to the somewhat sterile drums on Rajaz. The keyboards are much more varied here and the use of organ is part of what gives this album its "warmer" sound compared to the somewhat "cold" Rajaz. There are sparkling keyboard solos here, something that was quite rare on Rajaz. The vocals are also more varied and Andy sings in different styles and moods (even British dialects!) similar to what Peter Gabriel did on the early Genesis albums. Further, there are more background vocals on this one, also contributing to the warmer sound. The electric guitar work that was excellent on Rajaz, is just as good here. Overall, A Nod And A Wink feels more like a band effort than an Andy Latimer studio project.

I complained about Rajaz that it felt predictable. Not so here. There are several unexpected changes in the music here which I feel is essential in progressive Rock. I also said about Rajaz that there were too few fast paced passages. Not so here. There are softer and mellower parts as well as rockier parts. The influences here are much wider as well, with the Folk influence once again being present in Camel's music.

The compositions here are not at all as strong, though, as the ones from the brilliant Harbour Of Tears and Dust And Dreams albums and A Nod And A Wink does not hold together as well as those two brilliant concept albums. But being less good than those masterpieces is not really criticism! A Nod And A Wink is still a great album!

If you want to explore 90's/2000's Camel (which you should, it's great!), I would recommend you to start with Harbour Of Tears and then Dust And Dreams and after that you should get A Nod And A Wink and last Rajaz.

Perhaps not among Camel's very best this one, but still an excellent addition to your Camel collection

Review by poslednijat_colobar
4 stars Excellent XXI century Camel!

It's amazing how this band not just makes a return, but it makes real pleasant and melodic album with the friendly-oriented name A Nod and a Wink. It's not an album close to the albums from the beginning or from the middle of Camel's career. On A Nod and a Wink an be found the departure of their earlier styles. It can't be found the symphonic style of their earliest works, but also it can't be found their jazzy-oriented style of their middle works. So it's a melodic mixture of bluesy rock, folk rock and even some crossover prog. You cannot find any jazz here. Despite being not symphonic prog at all, it's not absolutely abandoned; but if we talk about jazz, its fans have to make their conclusions... They won't find an appropriate album for themselves.

With this work of art, current line-up prove to be good songwriting machine without any doubt. A Nod and a Wink could be putted among the best Camel's albums (in my opinion these are first three albums - Camel, Mirage and The Snow Goose). It is often compared to the latest Pink Floyd's effort - The Division Bell. I think they are very similar, too. The structure and the sense of both albums are very close. So it's recommended for fans of The Division Bell, brcause of that reason.

Most of the songs contain strongly emphasized bluesy melancholic mood. For example - A Boy's Life, The Miller's Tale, For Today and After All These Years. This make them more or less similar, so I'll mark the other four as my favourite - A Nod and a Wink, Simple Pleasures, Fox Hill and Squigley Fair. They are quite different each other and that's why original for me. Adorable!!!

Review by Tarcisio Moura
4 stars Camel´s latest release is quite a varied album, very laid back and tranquil, with influences ranging from pure irish folk to symphonic rock. It´s not the kind of album that will grab you at first listen, that´s for certain. But A Nod And A Wink grows on you with each hearing, when you find more and more details and nuances every time. The influences of bands like Genesis and Pink Floyd are also more noticeable.

It may not be Camel´s best album, but it surely shows a versatile songwriter and guitarrist in top form. Andrew latimer´s voice is also quite fitting for this kind of music and he is backed by the usual very competent players like he always did. I liked the way keyboardist Guy LeBlanc uses the Hammond organ more often. Latimer solos are as emotional and beautiful as ever, and his flute playing is more proeminet here than on most Camel´s releases. Very intricated and subtle arrangements complete the picture. My fave tunes on this album are the title track, Fox Hill and the excellent l Squigley Fair (nice blend of folk and symphonic, with some awesome flute).

If you´re a Camel fan go for it! If you´re not, give it a chance. it may be the band´s swan song due to Latimer´s health problems, but it is a beautiful one! To be listen several times with great pleasure. Four stars.

Review by Bonnek
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
2 stars A Nod and A Wink is a predictable soft sympho album that came as a big disappointment after the heartfelt and bluesy Rajaz.

The opening track is basically a cheesy classic rock song with some proggy extensions such as pastoral flutes, a disrupted song structure, keyboard solos and other pointless instrumental sections thrown in for good measure. Most melodies are soulless and uninspired. This track simply tries too hard to be classic prog but it misses the sparkle to make that happen.

After the sub-standard cliché prog of the title track, Simple Pleasures is a real relief. The man hasn't lost it completely and can still write poignant rock songs with a subtle and tasteful arrangement and a warm soothing vocal.

With A Boy's Life we're all cosy and nice around the campfire listening to an old man's sentimentalism, a nice instrumental section follows that makes you hope for an interesting song development, but a good minute later we're back at the dreary folk sentimentalism where we started.

Fox Hill sounds like an attempt to create a Camel take on The Battle of Epping Forest . I suppose it's meant to be funny but it comes off pointless and uninteresting, even annoying at times. The Miller's Tale is another campfire moment but at least it succeeds in setting some kind of mood, despite the overtly romantic orchestral overtones.

Squigely Fair is another prime example of meaningless sympho, all meant to be too nice and smooth and charming but it sounds old, woolly and incredibly tame. This music has not only no soul and no edge, it's also musically uninteresting, nothing you haven't heard on countless other prog-folk albums. For Today is better but that is a relative thing here after all the limpness that preceded. At least there is an attempt at a guitar solo here.

I can imagine this album has some charm to symphonic fans but if I look at the symphonic classics, they all had more life and creative spark in one minute then this album has in its entire length. Basically this is a one star album to me but I guess Simple Pleasures absolves it. Avoid unless you want to hear every retro symphonic album available.

Review by Rune2000
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars Andrew Latimer's Camel followed-up Rajaz with a release that pretty much had everything that the fans would expect it to be. Instrumentally, this album is a minor masterpiece since the band members play around with their style more than what they did on the previous release. Lyrically, there is definitely more to be desired of the collective, even if we take into account that Camel has never really been a lyrically strong band to begin with. I think that Latimer's voice also isn't as bright as it was before and at times I just can't help but feel like he's preaching to me, since he really does sound like an old man here.

There is a definite nostalgic feel to these songs that most of the time makes them warm and personal. Of course there are those other times where I get the feeling like Latimer is just looking back at his past days of glory like an old-timer. This feeling is especially clear on the album's final track For Today which really manages to drag down the enjoyment for me. Even though I might be misunderstanding the content of this final composition, I doubt that it would help me to overcome the feeling that Andrew Latimer's Camel are at the end of their career and that A Nod And A Wink represents their curtain call.

Either way, I cannot call this album bad since the material is anything but that. A Nod And A Wink can easily represent a must have album for the fans of 70's Camel who where listening to the band back in the day. As for me, I simply lack the feeling of nostalgia to grant this release anything higher than a good, but non-essential rating.

***** star songs: The Miller's Tale (3:34)

**** star songs: A Nod And A Wink (11:16) Simple Pleasures (5:31) A Boy´s Life (7:20) Fox Hill (9:09) Squigley Fair (8:02)

*** star songs: For Today (10:40)

Review by octopus-4
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR RIO/Avant/Zeuhl,Neo & Post/Math Teams
4 stars It may be the flute, or the many changes in the melody. I think that the title track of the last Camel's album has much of The Snow Goose. The guitar of Andy Latimer is excellent as usual. The new is that the dry, hot and sometimes dark ambient of Rajaz is now gone.

A Nod and a Wink is probably the Camel's album more close to Genesis or at least to neo- prog. The last two minutes of the title track seem to be Marillion stuff. However, the opener is one of the longest songs produced by Camel. If we don't consider the 14 useless minutes of sea noises at the end of Harbour of Tears, I think it is second in length only to Lady Fantasy, and like Lady Fantasy it has the structure of an epic, or better is unstructured enough to change the theme and the tempo several times but with continuity. There are no silences or gaps. It all flows constantly.

The athmosphere of Rajaz is partially back with "Simple Pleasure". This is a standard Latimer's song with a great mid-tempo instrumental interlude featuring a good guitar riff. The characteristic that I like most of Latimer as guitarist is that he knows not only which notes to play, but also "how many". Every note is functional to the song and is part of the melody. The same "good behaviour" that I like on David Gilmour. It's significant that Latimer was contacted by Roger Waters for a tour that he unfortunately was unable to make because of his unhealty status.

"A Boy's Life" is another great song. Slow and acoustic, it's similar to the last Latimer's song, that "Never Let Go" that is freely downloadable fron Camel's official website and is dedicated to Peter Bardens, as well as this album is. Maybe for this reason the keyboard has a sound that seems to be coming from Rain Dances. In the second half of the song the electric guitar over a base of 12-strings acoustic has a typical Camel's flavour. Who loves the period between Rain Dances and Nude knows what I mean.

I have controversial feelings about "Fox Hill". It's like Richard Sinclair is singing on a Genesis' base. From a musical point of view this is probably the song closest to Peter Gabriel's Genesis that Latimer has ever composed. I'm not particularily fan of Genesis and this is probably the reason why I have mixed feeleings. The instrumental parts are excellent and also the keyboard riff is good, but the style of singing is that of the poorest Camel's songs like "Remote Romance" or "Neon Magic". A note: we had to wait for the last album to hear a drum solo in a Camel's album, even if a great drummer as Andy Ward has been in the lineup for more than 10 years.

"The Miller's Tale" is short and sweet. An acoustic song which reches the level of things like "Mystic Queen" or "Spirit of the Water". 1 minute and half of acoustic guitar played with a Steve Hackett's touch and the second half of the song very symphonic (and very Camel).

"Squigely Fair" has a flavour midway between Moonmadness and Breathless. A good instrumental (there's a short sung part but I consider it an instrumental) which comes directly from the 70s with an excellent flute.

"(Always Live) For Today"...a piano intro, the lyrics about 9/11, or better about what Latimer calls "the courageous spirit of the High Diver". Then a long instrumental part. This track is longer than "Ice" (on I Can See Your Hous From Here), and quite similar to it. After the floydian guitar solo, the keyboard is very similar to the one on "Ice". A great closer not only for the album, but sadly for the 30 years career of the band.

After releasing this album Andy Latimer suffered for a rare form of leukemy from which he seems to be now recovered, He plays on a song of the last album of David Minasian, but it seems likely that this is the last album of Camel.

Not a masterpiece, I'm one of those who thinks that Rajaz is better, but it deserves at least 4 stars plus the fact that it's the last act of a band which has produced good music for 30 years.

Review by colorofmoney91
3 stars The most recent Camel studio album has already been out for almost a full decade?! Wow.

Well, A Nod And A Wind is a very poetic Camel album. It's very soft and delicate, and is super polished sounding. This album only seems to have very faint touches of the Canterbury and symphonic qualities that made Camel stand out so much, opting for a much more new-age sort of sound, although this is even quite good for new-age. This album also features much more vocals that what I'm generally used to with Camel, and I've always preferred them instrumentally.

I'm not entirely sure what to compare the music to, but the music here sounds more like a Canterbury influenced version of early Yes rather than classic Camel, but by today's standards this is actually pretty good music. If you love Camel and have aged into a seasoned gentleman, then this new-age contemporary laid back Camel album is most likely something you might enjoy.

Review by BrufordFreak
COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
2 stars I think raters here are skewed by the nostalgia effect: this is by no means a very progressive album nor is it even really very proggy. I'd call it bluesy rock. Fair to mediocre blues rock. This album reminds me very much of Roye Albrighton's Naughties' efforts to revive Nektar--only Roye's are MUCH better. Aside from the excellent opening song (which, again, sounds so much like Nektar revived), the flutes are pretty good. The vocals are awful--which detracts a great deal from the emotion behind the lyrics (which are few and far between) and the guitar soli are dull, boring, repetitive, stale, lackluster, worth skipping over. The only way a person should pay to acquire this album is if they were really hard up for more 60s-70s blues guitar solos.
Review by Warthur
3 stars As with most latter-day Camel albums, I find A Nod and a Wink to be a bit of a mixed bag. On the one hand, the title track is perhaps the best Camel track for decades, recalling their classic mid-1970s style - no doubt inspired by the death of Peter Bardens a few months before the recording of this album commenced. On the other hand, songs like Simple Pleasures are as unpleasant a slice of MOR pop nothingness as Camel have ever produced. On the whole, the nostalgia factor isn't quite enough to hold me on the more proggy songs, and the poppier songs make me remember all the worst aspects of The Single Factor. But anyone desperate for high-quality new Camel songs will probably want to at least listen to the first track on this one.
Review by VianaProghead
4 stars Review Nº 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*)

Latest members reviews

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 Mira ... (read more)

Report this review (#2898734) | Posted by Sidscrat | Sunday, March 12, 2023 | Review Permanlink

4 stars The last three studio albums by Camel are for me return to the shape and confidence of the 70's. While not as experimental and visionary, Camel decided that progressive rock would be the album cornerstone. Camel seem to have found their new face on the last two albums, in particular. Calm textu ... (read more)

Report this review (#2452531) | Posted by sgtpepper | Tuesday, September 29, 2020 | Review Permanlink

4 stars As I am writing this review, this is Camel's last release of original studio material, which means "A Nod and a Wink" is already 17 years old. That is not a long time considering it was released at Camel's 30th birthday and, in spite of lineup changes, old age, and physical infirmities, the band ... (read more)

Report this review (#2165414) | Posted by judahbenkenobi | Wednesday, March 13, 2019 | Review Permanlink

5 stars This is as essential as they come. A return to form. Not of the jazzrock-ey of pop-ey sound of the band, but more the symphonic/pastoral sound (Mirage, Snow Goose); long, dynamic songs with extended instrumental passages. The album has a very nice, nostalgic feel to it, and that's also because ... (read more)

Report this review (#439347) | Posted by Kingsnake | Tuesday, April 26, 2011 | Review Permanlink

3 stars To date, the latest album from Camel, "A nod and a wink" is another good work of the band. Unlike some of the big bands of the 70s, after they lose their luster and fall into mediocrity, Camel returned with a fresh sound in the '90s after a hiatus of seven years and all of its four albums release ... (read more)

Report this review (#403519) | Posted by voliveira | Saturday, February 19, 2011 | Review Permanlink

4 stars Of course it's not realy the specific sound from the LATIMER,BARDEN erea and closer to what LATIMER did through HARBOUR or DUST AND DREAM but this album is a beautifull recording that features all i love in CAMEL music, strong melodies , colourfull guitar parts and misty vocals .the good thing ... (read more)

Report this review (#296885) | Posted by jean-marie | Tuesday, August 31, 2010 | Review Permanlink

4 stars ¿Have You ever seen a grown man cry? Well, all You need to do is simply play this CD and any true prog lover will feel that He is losing something. A Nod and a Wink is a beautiful way to say Goodbye and to thanks us all for the attention. Andrew plays an amazing guitar in It (just hear the las ... (read more)

Report this review (#286513) | Posted by steelyhead | Monday, June 14, 2010 | Review Permanlink

4 stars Camel has always held a special place in my music collection. Their music is both complex and highly melodic. And while they rock hard at times, they never stray far from their "rock meets folk" style. I also find it amazing that after three decades and a multitude of line-up changes, Guit ... (read more)

Report this review (#228338) | Posted by MusicMan3172 | Saturday, July 25, 2009 | Review Permanlink

5 stars The continuation of Camel's return to form, in fact their 1990's and 2000 era recordings are just as good or even better than in their "heyday" in the early to mid 1970's. "Nod and a wink" shows this this recording has a humor element to it, but with all the classic etheral Camel elements and ... (read more)

Report this review (#221347) | Posted by SMSM | Monday, June 15, 2009 | Review Permanlink

4 stars After some reviews on this site about this album I was thrilled to actually hear it - and my hopes was that it was just as good as the Rajaz album. But that's not the case. It is a pretty good last album - but it lacks of ideas really - excellent instrumental pieces and moody singing don't hel ... (read more)

Report this review (#207831) | Posted by JackDaniel | Friday, March 20, 2009 | Review Permanlink

3 stars Well, I have always regarded Camel'spleasant, careful execution, fantastic performance, with the delightfull respect that they deserve. But although this is a wonderful album, the lack of energy/fire/inspritation seems to lessen the overall Camelishness of the music. Having said that, the mus ... (read more)

Report this review (#205255) | Posted by tmay102436 | Tuesday, March 3, 2009 | Review Permanlink

5 stars CAMEL A Nod and a Wink ..this is a fantastic album. the album is a masterpiece from star to finish .every single song is great .i cant describe the beauty of this album.even people who dont like prog probably like this one [yes is that good!!!].for me A nod and a wink is so deep that made me ... (read more)

Report this review (#116389) | Posted by martinprog77 | Monday, March 26, 2007 | Review Permanlink

5 stars If it's got to be the last Camel record, what a testament for prog posterity mister Latimer had offered to us all! Considering the adversity, pain and losses he had encountered during his long recording career, this is a crowning achievement summarizing all the best qualities Camel brought ... (read more)

Report this review (#115089) | Posted by bertolino | Wednesday, March 14, 2007 | Review Permanlink

5 stars It came as quite a suprise to me just how good this album really is. After a career that spans so many years and albums there is a real rise in quality and songmanship. This may be the last album from Camel, although this may change as Latimer is now back in England, but if it is the last offe ... (read more)

Report this review (#114557) | Posted by treebeard | Thursday, March 8, 2007 | Review Permanlink

5 stars Dear Andy Latimer, Thanks for this record, thanks for the peacuful minutes these songs always giving me, thanks for bringing back the mood of the 70ies in 2002, that you gave back my faith in progressive rock, for the warm emotions I feel from the first to the last note, thanks for the flute ... (read more)

Report this review (#111048) | Posted by Tandary | Thursday, February 8, 2007 | Review Permanlink

5 stars Camel's last studio effort, at least to date, is a warm collection of playful songs, full of fine melodies for guitar and flute. The lyrics are often written from a child's perspective and has an unique feeling to them unlike anything Camel has done before. The album ends on a more serious not ... (read more)

Report this review (#87406) | Posted by Pekka | Wednesday, August 16, 2006 | Review Permanlink

5 stars I decided to contribute a review on this album because I've been going through Camel's back catalogue lately, really listening to albums I probably haven't given front and center in over 20 years. I've enjoyed them all (with a few exceptions) but it's hard to make an objective conclusion with ... (read more)

Report this review (#71037) | Posted by | Friday, March 3, 2006 | Review Permanlink

5 stars Camel managed to do what Yes has been trying in the last 15 years:make an album of ortodox Symphonic Progressive that may be compared, without any doubt, to the "classic era" of the band. A Nod and a Wink is notably different from Camel´s early albums; however, it has a very Camel-esque musicians ... (read more)

Report this review (#68436) | Posted by Evandro Martini | Sunday, February 5, 2006 | Review Permanlink

5 stars The underestimated album. This stuff is more progressive than three previous albums. It contains much more fine flute-playing than previously. Interplay between guitars, keyboards and winds is very charming. Bells in the title track, piano intro in the last track, melodies in all tracks are ex ... (read more)

Report this review (#58871) | Posted by snow_camel05 | Friday, December 2, 2005 | Review Permanlink

5 stars "A Nod And a Wink" is an often cheerful, light-hearted album, which refers to or quotes from the Prog Rock music of the early 70s and the music of Camel itself. Unlike "Rajaz", in which Latimer's guitar was most prominent, this album is laden with a lot of flute and keyboards.Colin Bass' moani ... (read more)

Report this review (#54989) | Posted by Marquês_Prög | Sunday, November 6, 2005 | Review Permanlink

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