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Esquire - Esquire CD (album) cover

ESQUIRE

Esquire

 

Prog Related

3.12 | 18 ratings

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patrickq
Prog Reviewer
4 stars I can see why it's hard for many prog fans to consider this group's debut to qualify as "progressive rock." The songs are relatively short and are structured like late-80s pop/rock; there's a fair amount of programming (including some stuttering samples), and the band and LP seems to have been aimed more at the MTV / singles market than the album market. It's more like prog-pop.

However, I will say, without hyperbole, that this is prog-pop at its finest. Lots of hooks, an odd time signature here and there, good guitar playing and very inventive (and blatantly Squire-influenced) bass playing and composition. I like Nikki Squire's voice, but it was quite different from the norm in 1987, and I suppose that must have been part of the reason that the singles never charted (in the US anyway).

The strongest tracks are the poppy "Moving Together" and "To the Rescue," and the more introspective "Blossomtime," which at 6:43 is easily the longest song here. The Yes influences are clear but in no way pervasive. The middle section of "Up Down Turnaround" would've fit well on Big Generator - - in fact, the melody and guitar playing are positively Rabinesque. Trevor Horn and Alan White participated on one or two songs, and Chris Squire sings backup here and there - - to great effect, imho. Only at the very end of the album, on the coda of "What You've Been Saying," does he sing without his wife.

In all, a great pop album with progressive influences. I consider it part of a complete collection of prog albums insofar as it is an exemplar of a sub-subgenre (i.e., progressive pop) - - even if it's a less popular sub-subgenre.

patrickq | 4/5 |

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