Camel- A Nod and a Wink Review

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Camel- A Nod and a Wink Review

Postby FKYES » Sat Oct 02, 2004 3:28 pm


“A Nod And A Wink”

Musicians: Andrew Latimer: guitars, flute, keyboards, vocals
Guy LeBlanc: keyboards, backing vocals
Colin Bass: bass guitar, backing vocals
Denis Clement: drums
Terry Carleton: drums (tracks 2,6), percussion, backing vocals (track 7)
JR Johnson- backing vocals (track 7)

Produced by Andrew Latimer, Camel Productions

1) A Nod and A Wink (Latimer/Hoover/LeBlanc)
2) Simple Pleasures (Latimer/Hoover)
3) A Boy’s Life (Latimer/Hoover)
4) Fox Hill (Latimer/ Hoover)
5) The Miller’s Tale (Latimer/Hoover)
6) Squigely Fair (Latimer)
7) For Today (Latimer/Hoover/Le Blanc)

Camel celebrates the 30th anniversary of the band with the release of their 14th studio album, “A Nod and A Wink.” Camel 2002 features original member, primary writer and producer Andrew Latimer, bassist and long-time member Colin Bass, keyboardist Guy LeBlanc (Nathan Mahl) and drummer Denis Clement. This is the fourth studio album on the Latimer owned Camel Productions, and compares favorably to some of the great Camel albums from the 70’s. It is very refreshing to see a “classic prog” band from the 70’s such as Camel still making outstanding and inspiring music in the year 2002.

I preordered the album from Camel Productions and was fortunate enough to receive a personalized autograph from Mr. Latimer (A very classy move on their part). The album begins with the excellent title track, which includes the trademark Latimer flute and acoustic guitar. The vocals are outstanding and Latimer’s voice has actually gotten better over the years. His melodic electric guitar and LeBlanc’s keyboards interrupt the dreamlike feel of the song. In typical Camel fashion, the melodies are plentiful and the journey has begun.

‘Simple Pleasures’ has a percussive beginning before Latimer’s vocals begin. Once again, his vocal style provides a great deal of warmth to the listener. As the tempo increases, Latimer unleashes another outstanding electric solo. In my opinion, no one can match his expressive style of playing (no offense to David Gilmour). The third song, ‘A Boys Life’, has Latimer in a reminiscent mode. Once again, his acoustic playing is a nice warm-up for later electric solos. LeBlanc’s keyboards again add the perfect symphonic touch.

The tempo is picked up on ‘Fox Hill’, as Latimer sings with his tongue firmly placed in his cheek. The song contains an excellent exchange in solos by Latimer and LeBlanc. Latimer’s flute makes its presence felt once again. The short ‘The Miller’s Tale’ is dominated once again by LeBlanc’s keys.

After the instrumental ‘Squigely Fair’, Latimer unleashes the most emotional piece on the album, ‘For Today’. Dedicated to the victims of September 11th, it contains one of Latimer’s finest guitar solos on record. I know it makes the hair stand up on the back of my neck. It also contains an anthem type chorus to add to the emotion of the piece. In my opinion, this is one of Camel’s finest moments.

I don’t think I can recommend this album highly enough. I have enjoyed all the releases on Camel Productions, but I feel that album contains the spirit of the 70’s Camel the most. It is appropriate that the album is dedicated to original keyboardist, the late Peter Bardens. Obviously, I can’t say enough about how great Andy Latimer sounds. His playing (guitar and flute) and singing never sounded better. I also think that Le Blanc is an outstanding addition and his orchestrations on the keyboards are excellent. Now, all we need is an East Coast Camel tour in 2003! Please support Camel Productions and allow Andrew Latimer to continue to make this beautiful and emotional music.

Don Cassidy
For Delicious Agony Progressive Rock Radio
January 19, 2003
Don Cassidy
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Postby ianmitchell » Sun Oct 03, 2004 11:56 pm

I agree totally with that review. When I want to listen to a relatively mellow CD, this one is one of my first choices (along with its immediate predecessor, Rajaz). Latimer's playing is phenomenal, especially on For Today. I think Camel are every bit as good today as they were in the 70's, or maybe even better.
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