UFO - The Monkey Puzzle
UFO follows the tradition by releasing an album every second year. "Sharks" (2002), "You are Here" (2004) and now "The Monkey Puzzle" released September 25th 2006.

In 2005 UFO also released a live CD/DVD "Showtime" and the band shows no sign of slowing down, but keeps being productive and creating high quality music.

The last effort "You are Here" was simply amazing and proved long lasting. "The Monkey Puzzle" is once again recorded in Germany by Tommy Newton, who also directed the recordings of "You Are Here" and "Showtime" - once again it proves never to change a winning team.

The sound is once again superb. Newton wraps up UFO in an appetizing contemporary sonic sound. The guitars and drums sound thunderous and Mogg's voice is pompous.

The line up on "The Monkey Puzzle" is close to the classic line-up with Andy Parker's return to the band. Personally I loved Bonham's drumming, which suited the band - but Parker makes a great return. Parker's beefed up the drum sound gives lots of body to the groovy Heavenly Body.

Guitarist Vinnie Moore is all over the record. His playing is diverse and his unique technique adds lots of details to many songs. Moore has set his mark on UFO and his playing steers World Cruise. His soulful playing has lots of nerve - listen to the solo in Who's Fooling Who and Drink Too Much. Vinnie Moore plays the slide guitar on Hard Being Me and in general he is a breath of fresh air to UFO.

Album highlights are the irresistible and dynamic Some Other Guy with blues harp and organ plus Who's Fooling Who, which changes between acoustic and electric guitar. On these two songs UFO rocks as a unified whole and reinvents themselves as a band.

Rolling Man and Hard Being me are typical for the later UFO albums since they have a unique groove to them.

The album has 3 songs that drag down the overall impression; Kingston Town and Down By The River, which is quite different with a full sounding negro women's choir and a more soulful sound to it. World Cruise is the only weak song on the record.

Phil Mogg's unmistakable vocals are once again a true listening pleasure. Like I have written in the last couple of UFO reviews "His voice keeps getting better" and yet it still keeps getting better. Mogg has an unbelievable dept and bluesy tone to his vocals, which is perfectly suited for the big crunchy production that characterizes this batch of mid-tempo songs.

"The Monkey Puzzle" follows the laid-back bluesy style founded on "You are Here". "The Monkey Puzzle" is once again a high quality product from UFO - its right behind "You are Here" but a tiny bit better than "Sharks"

Written by Michael
Tuesday, October 10, 2006
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Michael: 7.5/10

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Review by Michael

Released by
SPV - 2006

1. Hard Being Me
2. Heavenly Body
3. Some Other Guy
4. Who's Fooling Who
5. Black And Blue
6. Drink Too Much
7. World Cruise
8. Down By The River
9. Good Bye You
10. Rolling Man
11. Kingston Town

Supplied by Target


Related links
Visit the band page

UFO - Official Website

Other articles
Sharks - (Michael)

Interview with UFO vocalist Phil Mogg - (Michael)

You are Here - (Michael)

Showtime - (Michael)

Walk on Water - (Michael)

Phenomenon/Force it/No Heavy Petting - (Michael)

Obsession - (Michael)

No Place to Run / The Wild The Willing and The Innocent - (Michael)

UFO 1 - (Brian)

Making Contact, Headstone & Misdemeanor - (Michael)

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