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

A LIFE WITHIN A DAY

Squackett

 

Crossover Prog

3.26 | 136 ratings

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VianaProghead
Prog Reviewer
4 stars Review Nš 223

"A Life Within A Day" is the debut studio album of Squackett and was released in 2012. "Squackett" and "A Life Within A Day" are the result of the collaboration between Chris Squire the bassist of Yes and Steve Howe the ex- Genesis' guitarist. Hackett had previously worked with Squire's band mate Steve Howe, the guitarist of Yes, in the project GTR.

The musical coupling of two of the most famous progressive legends has been delivered five years after its original inception when Squire invited Hackett to provide the guitar playing on his "Chris Squire's Swiss Choir" studio album. Squire reciprocated by laying down some bass lines for Hackett's studio album "Out Of The Tunnel's Mouth". Squackett is the side project which took on a separate life of its own. The project name has been suggested as a joke with the names of both musicians, as a hybrid name. Perhaps it's a silly name but this is a name I happen to like.

The line up of the album is Steve Hackett (vocals, guitars and harmonica), Chris Squire (vocals and bass), Roger King (keyboards), Jeremy Stacey (drums), Amanda Lehman (backing vocals), Dick Driver (double bass), Richard Stewart (cello) and Christine Townsend (viola and violin).

"A Life Within A Day" has nine tracks. The first track is the title track "A Life Within A Day" and was written by Hackett, Squire and King. It's a great song to open the album building from a "Kashmir" of Led Zeppelin stomp with Hackett's guitar pulling out all the stops. Squire plays his bass hardly and supplies good backing vocals that ably supports Hackett's lead vocals. This is clearly the best track on the album. The second track "Tall Ships" written by Hackett, Squire and King manages to keep up the high standard of the album with a funky style. It opens with a brief classical guitar intro from Steve. Squire's bass fills sit nicely alongside the funky guitar work. This is a track with multi-textures and orchestral tones. The third track "Divided Self" written by Hackett, Squire, King and Clabburn is a song that reminds me The Birds with the twelve string guitar and sweet vocals that adds a lighter touch to the album. This is probably a song that had the marks of both musicians revisiting their past youth. The fourth track "Aliens" written by Hackett, Squire, King and Healy is a catchy song. This is an acoustically driven song with orchestral background that emits a really dreamy quality. However, it isn't for sure one of their best musical moments on the album. The fifth track "Sea Of Smiles" written by Hackett, Squire and King represents another return to the past, to the 60's. It's a nicely song with a rich vocal treatment. The final touch comes from Hackett solo breaks. This is a song with sweetest harmonies and with a hippie feeling. The sixth track "The Summer Backwards" written by Hackett, Squire and King is another nice song with lush vocal harmonies and a catchy melody that sticks long in our memory. It has also some strong harmonies, a lovely melody and a choral backdrop giving it a psychedelic feel. The seventh track "Stormchaser" written by Hackett, Squire and King is a track with crashing guitars and a heavy bass line, which grooves along in a metal haze with some interesting programming effects. This is a very heavy song that reminds me Led Zeppelin especially due to the drumming in the John Bonham's style. The eighth track "Can't Stop The Rain" written by Hackett, Squire, King, Johnson and Sessler is another pretty song nicely sung by Squire, although with a strange and a almost synthetic tone of his voice. This is perhaps the most beautiful and ambiguous track on the album despite its commercial appeal. The ninth track "Perfect Love Song" written by Hackett, Squire, King and Johnson is another track where the melody line is very emotional and once more the voices blend perfectly well. Hackett delivers yet another great guitar work that shows his great musical power as a self musician. This is a great ending that closes the album with a very high musical note.

Conclusion: Curiously "A Life In A Day" was also released precisely in the same year of "Storm Corrosion". As many of us know, Storm Corrosion was a music project formed by Steven Wilson of Porcupine Tree and Mikael Akerfeldt of Opeth. So, in the same year we could see four of the greatest progressive musicians working together. They're simply two of the best musicians of the classic progressive period of the 70's and two of the best progressive musicians of our times. However, we are in presence of two very distinctive proposals. To everyone who has spent few days in a darkened room listening "Storm Corrosion", like me, I can only say that pull back the curtains and open the windows, because summer in the land of prog has arrived through the release of "A Life Within A Day". I'm not saying that "A Life Within A Day" is a better album than "Storm Corrosion". On the contrary, I think "Storm Corrosion" is probably better. What I'm saying is that "A Life Within A Day" is a fresh and simple album which must have given much pleasure to both musicians. Of course it isn't Genesis or Yes from the 70's, as happened with Storm Corrosion which wasn't Porcupine Tree or Opeth, too. But if you are only interested in that, you are, for sure, missing the point and missing a great album.

Prog is my Ferrari. Jem Godfrey (Frost*)

VianaProghead | 4/5 |

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