|UFO The Monkey Puzzle||SPV|
UFO are back with their latest studio album, the second to feature guitarist Vinnie Moore, not to mention a well received live set.|
After finding their way a little on the last album You Are Here, the boys deliver a much stronger record in Monkey Puzzle.
The album doesn't offer anything unexpected or out of character for the band, but it does deliver 11 strong blues tinged rockers that is more or less going to be everything UFO fans expect from the band.
What makes this album better is the consistency in the quality of the songwriting and the tight sound the band has developed after a lengthy tour getting comfortable together again. It also signals the return of drummer Andy Parker, after stand-in Jason Bonham took up with Foreigner.
The album didn't throw out any classics first spin, but on repeated listens I found each song to be more engaging and as a body of work, the album flows effortlessly from start to finish.
The overall feel of the album is fairly laid back, but the band is clearly at ease with themselves and I'm finding more guitar riffs and melodies in this album than I have heard in quite some time.
The production is perfect for what the band needs – solid sound, evenly mixed, but without the life being squeezed out of the performance. This still sounds like it could have been played live in the studio.
Highlights of the album include the classic UFO bar room rocker Hard Being Me, which opens the album; the moody organ drenched Who's Fooling Who; the hard edge rocker Black And Blue; the very melodic and relaxed Drink Too Much plus one of my new favourite UFO tracks - Good Bye You - a song that is a little more laid back and features a memorable chorus and great overall vibe.
Nothing unusual or original here, just quality songwriting and an engaging set of performances. Something about this album just works for me.
include("f-review.p3"); retrieve("ufo-monk",0,1); ?>