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




Symphonic Prog

3.95 | 641 ratings

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Prog-Folk Team
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. ;)

kenethlevine | 4/5 |


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