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Squackett - A Life Within A Day CD (album) cover




Crossover Prog

3.25 | 138 ratings

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Symphonic Prog Specialist
3 stars Good, but good is not enough for Hackett and Squire

When GTR was released some years ago, it was like a dream come true, but after listening the album, the dream turned into a nightmare, that's why I didn't get too carried by the expectation around SQUACKETT'S debut. As anybody who has read my reviews knows, I'm a huge Steve Hackett fan and always respected Chris Squire as one of the top bass players in Prog history and one of the main elements of YES success, but I had a feeling that this joint venture would not be as amazing as anybody expected, but still was one of the first fans to get the album and wasn't disappointed.

A Life Within a Day is a very good album, closer to what I would expect from Steve than from Chris, but to be honest some of the magic that this two extraordinaire musicians have given to us for decades is lost, as if they had to work too hard in adapting two different styles sacrificing their individuality, but I believe they will give us much more if continue working together.

The album starts with the fantastic A Life Within a Day, pretty much in the vein of Bay of Kings, with that mysterious oriental sound of Steve's albums enhanced by the solid bass. We all know the amazing talent of Steve in the guitar, but any reasonable person would expect Chris in the lead voice; incredibly Hackett takes the lead and does an outstanding job, being obvious he has improved a lot in this field. To summarize, a solid start for the famous musicians.

The second track Tall Ships begins with a beautiful guitar intro and a powerful bass, but the problems start after this, seems like the guys are looking for a more commercial formula, not that this is wrong per se, but all the previous works of both artists demonstrates they are more prepared for Prog than for AOR. Not bad, not good either.

Divided Self is an improvement from the second song, still not in the same level of the opener, but good enough, in this case the combines vocal work is impressive and reminds me of albums like Spectral Mornings with a touch of post Big Generator YES, things get better.

Sadly it's the time for Aliens, one of the most boring ballads I ever heard by a couple of Prog musicians, absolutely repetitive and predictable, no matter how good are the guitar and bass oriented passages are, the song never captures my interest.

Sea of Smiles disconcerts me, by moments seems like taken from Spectral Mornings but then turns too light and AOR oriented. But despite this small problem, is one of the best tracks due to Steve's excellent solo, Chris bass and Roger King who does a solid work in the keyboards.

The Summer Backwards: Now this is a song that sounds more like what CHRIS SQUIRE, very melodic with a nice Mellotron by Roger King, nice but not great, a clear contrast with the heavy Storm Chaser which sounds like taken from To Watch the Storms, here the whole band is amazing and around the middle a passage that reminded me of KING CRIMSON, one of the higher points in the album.

As usual after a great track comes an inferior one, and Can't Stop the Rain is not the exception, because is one of the most AOR oriented songs, even when the vocals are very good, it's so repetitive and plain that reminds me of what I felt when I listening GTR.

A Life Within a Day is closed by Perfect Love Song, another outstanding song, strong and faster with nice changes, excellent vocals and Steve demonstrating he's as good with the electric guitar as with the acoustic, again the guys include one great song after a boring one, along with A Life Within a Day the best material of the album, seems as they planned to open and close the album with their best tracks.

To summarize, A Life Within a Day is a good album but incredibly uneven, sadly when it seems we are before a great release, the inferior material takes the album down, so I believe that three stars is a fair rating. We all know that these guys are capable of much more so I wish that if they decide to keep SQUACKETT alive, they prove it releasing an album without so many ups and downs.

Ivan_Melgar_M | 3/5 |


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