Sound — 8
You know, the overall idea of progressive music produced in the 1980s has always left that taste of vomit in my mouth. Most hardcore prog fans, such as myself, tend to disown the decade and pretend that it did not exist. With that said, I am delighted to say that there is at least one album, from the 80s, that may very well be one of the most prominent and beautiful records ever to be released. I am talking about none other than Camel's 1981 effort, Nude. With it's almost classically percieved structure, Nude blows your mind every second. The musicianship on this album is stellar, utilizing symphonies, vibraphones, and, yes, even a saxophone. Take that, Pink Floyd. There is even a song (Homecoming) that resembles a marching band in a parade. It's that diverse. The time signature switches on this album are absolutely nuts, and to make it even sweeter to the first time listener, it's very limited with vocals, and that really makes the music incredibly enjoyable. Overall, the sound is rocking on all cylinders, and the switching of gears periodically on this album I think make it stand out.
Lyrics — 8
Not many lyrics. Lyrics I guess shouldn't be weighed that heavily when looking at a band like Camel, whose prowess lies in the compostion. However, Nude is a concept album in referrence to the true story of a Japanese WWII veteran who was stranded on an island and found years later, not knowing that the war had ended. This is quite evident in the song titles (City Life, Drafted, Beached, Docked, Homecoming, etc.). On the whole, I like the concept, so it gets a thumbs up from me.
Overall Impression — 8
Stellar. Magnificient. Until recently, I had never even heard of Camel. I always thought Camel was a pack of cheap cigarettes. Little did I know that this was a great band. A revolution in my life, if you will. This band introduced me to a decade of music that, quite frankly, I never wanted to even explore. I owe all of this, to this single album. If you listen to Nude thoroughly, it could very well have the same effect on you. Take a chance. You won't regret it.