Squackett : Steve Hackett & Chris Squire – Why This is a Masterpiece

Album Review: Squackett’s “A Life Within a Day

A Life Within a Day” by Squackett, is a collaboration between Steve Hackett and the late Chris Squire. This album has just been reissued by Cherry Red Esoteric, and I’m excited to share my thoughts on it.

I must admit, I’m late to the party on this one. I didn’t buy it when it was first released, perhaps because I was skeptical about the collaboration of these two progressive rock giants. Was it just a record label’s idea to pair them up? I wasn’t sure. However, after giving it a proper listen, particularly the Blu-ray 5.1 mix, I’m convinced of its brilliance.

Initially, Chris Squire was working on a new solo album and needed a guitarist. He reached out to Steve Hackett, and what began as a solo project evolved into a joint effort, culminating in the album “A Life Within a Day.” The chemistry between these two legends is palpable throughout the album.

A Life Within a Day
The opening track sets the tone for the album with a feel reminiscent of Led Zeppelin’s “Kashmir” and Rainbow’s “Stargazer.” The Eastern musical scales and soaring guitars create an intense progressive rock experience. The production quality and the emotion conveyed through the music are incredible.

Divided Self
This track has a Genesis-like pop sensibility combined with lush vocal harmonies. The influences of both Yes and Genesis are evident, creating a dreamy prog-rock atmosphere.

Sea of Smiles
“Sea of Smiles” brings together beautiful vocal harmonies, reminiscent of Transatlantic. The song’s structure and the blending of voices are simply gorgeous.

Returning to the intensity of the opening track, “Stormchaser” features powerful John Bonham-esque drums and incredible bass lines. Steve Hackett’s guitar work here is fiery and experimental, paying homage to the late Jeff Beck.

Can’t Stop the Rain
A gentle ballad, “Can’t Stop the Rain” is a beautiful blend of Yes and Genesis elements. It’s one of my personal favorites on the album, showcasing the emotional depth of both musicians.

Perfect Love Song
The album closes with “Perfect Love Song,” featuring a meditative and hypnotic riff. The harmonies and guitar solo create a serene and beautiful ending to the album.

“A Life Within a Day” is a superb album that showcases the talents of both Steve Hackett and Chris Squire. The songs are beautifully crafted, filled with emotion, and performed with perfection. It’s a shame they couldn’t produce another album together, but this one stands as a testament to their incredible collaboration.

If you’re a fan of progressive rock or either of these musicians, this album is a must-have. It’s not just a side project; it’s an important addition to their discographies. The CD and Blu-ray 5.1 mix are available now on Esoteric Records, part of Cherry Red.

Recording Details
Steve Hackett (Guitars, Vocals)
Chris Squire (Bass, Vocals)
Roger King (Keyboards)
Jeremy Stacey (Drums)
Amanda Lehmann (Backing Vocals)

Phil Aston | Now Spinning Magazine

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