Esquire III – No Spare Planet
“No Spare Planet” is the latest album from Esquire III, an album of epic proportions and carefully crafted progressive rock at its best.
Mind you, I’ve listened to this CD two times, and it is still growing on me, as it is not an easy listen due to the various modern songwriting elements and the breaking of boundaries, with Nikki Squire’s unique singing.
Music-wise, there are strong elements of progressive rock infused in with some darker moments here, from the lyrics, which can be heard on the track “Friends And Enemies”.
Multi-instrumentalist and songwriting partner Nigel Mclaren does a fantastic job of bringing the songs to life on this album. Unfortunately, Nigel passed away in 2015, and as a result this album is a tribute to him.
There are plenty of Yes and Genesis influences here, and these influence mixed along with the varied musical nuances created by Esquire III makes for an interesting listening journey here. There are no upbeat songs to be found on this release, as most of their songs are mellow, laidback and very positive in energy. Nikki’s singing seamlessly fits in with the catchy song arrangements here, kind of reminding of Jon Anderson and Yes throughout this nine-song affair. There are some really well written and catchy choruses on the song “It’s Over”, which is sure to bring tears of sadness to your eyes, especially with Nikki’s diverse vocal delivery. Her range is very dynamic, and never leaves you feeling blue, as it is very uplifting to a great degree. I love the hopefulness and joy of happiness also found in her singing, as this aspect definitely reaches out and grabs your attention.
I can go on and on about cool and challenging of a listen “No Spare Planet” is, but it only does justice listening to this musically and vocally interesting album. Red Cherry Records Sarjoo Devani