UFO The Monkey Puzzle SPV
· Produced By: UFO

· Running Time: 46.15

· Release Date: Out Now

· Released:

· Musical Style: Melodic Rock

· Links: SPV
Songs: 91%
Sound: 86%
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.
The Bottom Line
Another year, another UFO album. But come next year, I'll probably still feel like playing this one, whereas the last couple have been shelved once the review process had been completed.
Nothing unusual or original here, just quality songwriting and an engaging set of performances. Something about this album just works for me.
Discography / Previously Reviewed
· Walk On Water
· Covenant
· Sharks
· You Are Here
· The Monkey Puzzle

Line Up:
· Phil Mogg: Vocals
· Vinnie Moore: Guitar
· Andy Parker: Drums
· Pete Way: Bass
· Paul Raymond: Keyboards

Essential For Fans Of:
· Mogg/Way
· Vinnie Moore
Track Listing
· Hard Being Me *
· Heavenly Body
· Some Other Guy *
· Who's Fooling Who? *
· Black And Blue
· Drink Too Much *
· World Cruise
· Down By The River
· Good Bye You *
· Rolling Man
· Kingston Town

--*Best Tracks

21/04/07: ken ahl -
Rating: 93
ufo can do no wrong,wonderful cd. vinnie is just great and love hearing andy parker back. great job guys. saw them in 77 78
and many times in the 80's love to see them again.
cheers ken

18/11/06: Dimitri -
Rating: 80
A bit better than the previous effort but a far cry from anything they did with Schenker.

15/11/06: Dan MacDonald -
Rating: 100
Another great release from my all-time favourite band ! This album sees return of UFO skinsmaster Andy Parker ,also on board again is one of UFO's most underrated members ,Paul Raymond & his wonderful keyboard /guitar/backing vocals. A little bluesier this time around ,also thanks & high 5's to Vinnie Moore for being such a great fit - Phil sure has an eye for talent. Fave's would include the heavy "Heavenly Body" w/Mr.Parker revisiting his drum intro to ,"Pack It Up & Go" & the infectious ,"Good Bye You" ,but the whole album rocks w/conviction ,Vinnie throwing in a few Schenkerisms for us old fans. These guys aren't considered legendary for no reason !
ps. Not to forget the heart of the band Pete Way !

12/11/06: RD -
Rating: 100
Once again UFO are back with a fantastic album. These guys are simply the best. Itīs not hard being me but itīs hard being you if you miss this album !

10/11/06: Jay -
Rating: 95
Had to listen to it through a few times to get it all, especially the tunes that didn't seem to good. This is slightly better than You Are Here. At this stage of the game I think UFO gives us alittle 70's, 80's, and 90's all wrapped up into one. It is foolish to expect a full CD of the late 70's UFO...especially at Phil's age. However, the first 3 tunes are a little Bluesy...great drums/guitar on the third song. "Black and Blue" is similar to Love to Love. Kingston Town...great, smooth track. "Who's foolin who" and "Goodbye you/Goodbye Me" are great laid back tracks. Could be better??...Maybe but I actually love what this band gives us...a few songs that take from every generation they have rocked. And the biggest thing: a bigger US tour coming in 2007 and no "psychotic" Schenker to screw it up!!! I just wish we could here "Self Made Man" live !!! Keep on Rockin UFO !!!!!!!!

09/11/06: Martin -
Rating: 90
UFO were the first rock band I ever saw live - back on the Strangers In The Night tour, with Paul "Tonka" Chapman. I love this band - Phil Mogg has always been one of my favourite lyricists (vastly under-rated, in my opinion). This album was a pleasant surprise - Vinnie Moore has settled in very well, and they've produced a damn fine bluesy-rock album. Okay, it may not reach the pinnacles of the likes of "The Wild The Willing And The Innocent" or "Obsession", but it still proves that there is life in the old dog(s) yet.

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