[ SHORT REVIEWS | DETAILED REVIEWS
(17:36 / Metal Mind Records)
TRACK LIST: 1. Walk On Water 3:51 2. Shadows 5:24 3. I Can See Your House From Here 4:35 4. Invisible 3:44 LINEUP: Agnieszka Swita - vocals Clive Nolan - keyboards; vocals
Prolusion. CAAMORA is a collaboration of young Polish singer Agnieszka Swita and veteran English composer, keyboardist and vocalist Clive Nolan (Arena, Pendragon, Neo). Their new release, the "Walk on Water" EP, is a successor to their debut output "Closer" from 2006, whose format is a mini-CD as well. The duo is currently at the final phase of preparing their first ambitious project, "She", which will be put on the stage of Wyspianski Theatre in Katowice on October 31, 2007, and will feature a host of musicians, as well as some eye-catching visuals. That show (which according to the press kit represents something halfway between a concert and a dramatic play) will be filmed for the future edition as a DVD / 2CD album, with a street release date of January 21, 2008.
Analysis. Without being specific, the press kit says "Walk On Water" includes two new songs and two from the duo's forthcoming "She" project - which puzzled me, since none of the four numbers was available until now. Upon the first spin I was scratching my head trying to figure out which of them are those "new" et cetera. However after another listening I arrived at the conclusion that it's the first two tracks that were written especially for this EP. Time will show whether my inference is valid, though my musical intuition very rarely lets me down. Apart from Agnieszka and Clive, the first three songs feature three more musicians: John Jowitt (of IQ and Arena fame) on bass, Mark Westwood (Neo) on guitars and a certain:-) Scott Higham on drums. All of them have a distinct full-band, at times positively rocking sound, but nevertheless the third one, I Can See Your House From Here, has much more in common with the concluding piece, Invisible, no matter that it's a ballad with only vocals and piano in the arrangement, i.e. despite all the dissimilarities between them. On the other hand however, the one titled after:-) Camel's '79 creation and its follow-up are both slow-paced, plus totally vocals-based tracks, with not even a hint of an instrumental interlude or something on those lines, but what seems to be most indicative is that both have a strong rock-opera or rather musical feeling. All in all, these leave the impression they are parts of the same creation, even though a choir (made up of Agnieszka's own vocals, just overdubbed) is featured only on the ballad. Of the other two songs, the title number and Shadows, only the former contains what can be regarded as a fully-fledged instrumental movement, but then the latter much more frequently shifts in theme and pace alike. Stylistically however, none is even Neo Prog, but is prog-tinged pop Rock, at times bordering on pop Metal, though there also are two brief episodes with an almost acoustic sound on Shadows. Oh almost forgot: only these two find Clive Nolan joining his partner in singing, particularly often on the title track where in addition he sometimes takes the lead.
Conclusion. After reading the previous paragraph many might be wondered why I have rated "Walk On Water" as a good album. Being acquainted with most of the creations by most of Mr. Nolan's bands and projects (it would be a long story to list even the latter here), I expected this disc would be marked with signs of his signature style too, yet there is nothing of the kind here, on the tracks' compositional angle or in Clive's playing either. This is a surprisingly fresh-sounding creation, and even if to a progressive mind it has few virtues, originality is a rarity nowadays and is something I almost always regard as of paramount importance when viewing the works of contemporary music.
VM: Agst 12, 2007
[ SHORT REVIEWS | DETAILED REVIEWS - LIST | BANDLISTS ]