The Monkey Puzzle

Release date: September 21st 2006
Label: Steamhammer/SPV

Distribution: Target (Denmark)
Website: www.ufo-music.info

Style: Hard Rock

Rating: 72/100
Cover artwork rating: 68/100

Reviewed by:
Peter Laursen
October 21st 2006

I had my first encounter with a UFO just about 31 years ago. And I don’t mean with a spaceship from a very distant planet but the British band UFO. UFO released their first album in 1971 titled “UFO1”, but my first UFO-encounter came in 1975 with their fantastic release; “Force It”. Since then UFO has released classic albums such as; “No Heavy Pettin’” (1976), “Lights Out” (1977), “Obsession” (1978), and “Making Contact” (1983).

My favourite UFO albums could very well be “Mechanix” (1982) and “Covenant” (2000). “You are here” from 2004 is also a very solid album so therefore my expectations were high when I purchased this brand new CD, titled “The Monkey Puzzle”.

The music is a bit more laid back than what I’m used to from UFO, and I’m left a tad disappointed. Their music has always been very groovy but this time they are a bit too groovy in my humble opinion. Of course you can still find very typically old fashioned “Heavy-Rock” on this release.

Just take a listen to track number 2 “Heavenly Body”…this song contains a guitar riff that most Metal bands out there would kill for. On this track singer, Phil Mogg delivers his best performance in years. This track is written by guitarist Vinnie Moore and Phil Mogg… and talking about Vinnie Moore… his guitar playing is out of this world. It’s jaw-dropping, the emotion that oozes out of this man’s playing. I really like his style and he really delivers the goods.

We get 11 songs and most of them are good and okay, but a few of them are not above average in my opinion. Well… the more I listen to this album the more I like it but it doesn’t reach the heights of their classic albums I’ve mentioned above. However it’s still a solid release.

UFO-haters should avoid this album but fans of this classic British band should definitely get this album to their UFO-collection.