Esquire - III – No Spare Planet album review

Former Mrs Squire’s third offering, tainted by tragedy

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Rock star wives. Hmmm… It’s a tough one, isn’t it? One is immediately reminded of Jeanine Pettibone from This Is Spinal Tap. Or worse, Another Language, the band Cheap Trick’s Tom Petersson formed with his wife Dagmar. My point being it is perhaps a tough call, when some of your desired audience might not take you as seriously as your more famous spouse. Nikki Squire was of course married to the late Yes bassist Chris.

This is her third venture with Esquire, her venture with the late Nigel McLaren, her musical partner who sadly passed away in 2015. To be honest, it serves as a fitting tribute to their musical past. Robust, melodic (even leaning towards AOR in some places), symphonic prog that would find favour with fans of Yes West, Lifesigns and perhaps even Frost*. It starts well with the intricate Ministry Of Life and She Said, but by the more lachrymose sentiments of Tonight and Friends And Enemies the material seems to begin to lack the depth and nuance serious-minded prog fans would seek in their music. Things pick up towards the end with Stay Low and Heaven Blessed, leaving the overall impression of a venture that had more worth than one might have originally believed.