Puzzle Review

artist: Biffy Clyro date: 08/11/2008 category: compact discs
Biffy Clyro: Puzzle
Release Date: May 25, 2007
Label: Warner Music
Genres: Punk Revival, Punk-Pop
Number Of Tracks: 14
The latest Biffy Clyro album entitled Puzzle is about the current state of mind the band was in, mainly the lead singer Simon Neil.
 Sound: 9.5
 Lyrics: 9.3
 Overall Impression: 9.7
 Overall rating:
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reviews (6) 27 comments vote for this album:
overall: 9.7
Puzzle Reviewed by: anty, on june 05, 2007
2 of 3 people found this review helpful

Sound: The latest Biffy Clyro album entitled Puzzle is about the current state of mind the band was in, mainly the lead singer Simon Neil. After suffering a lot of losses and frantic touring they finally sat down for more than a year to write what has turned out to be one of the epic masterpieces of 2007. Produced by themselves and the famous GGGarth they have formed full circle starting on frantic orchestral strings and ending on a somber acoustic piece. The official 2nd single for the album 'Living Is A Problem Because Everything Dies' is the perfect choice for an opener. With it's lower tuning and catchy chorus it reels the viewer in for the entire five minute journey leaving them champing at the bit. One of the most original pieces of the album I believe is A Whole Child Ago. It is very poppy which may already have heads turned but it certainly is catchy and grows on you over time. Currently my third favourite on the album. There is another challenger on the album being 9/15ths which certainly pushes the previous biffy barriar and provides a succulent weird time signature that is a little bit repetitive in parts but certainly does not take away from the song. Starts on a clean haunting guitar piece and then goes into a frantic rock epic that reminds you strongely of the oompa loompas. Love Has A Diameter with it's "I'm watching the radio but it's the television looking at me" chorus is one of the albums softer songs with an amazing build up during the song leading to more melody and what I can see as an anthemic sing a long at all live shows. "The Conversation Is..." first verse reminded me of a poppier funeral for a friend song that actually sounds good. It has been talked about by the band that they use an irregular tuning for this song that is still unknown and not revealed. I think this song really shines on the 2nd chorus/prechorus when the interlude kicks in just before 2 minutes. Overall it's more radio friendly than their previous outings but as many believe this spells the end for any artistic band, I believe this is only the beginning for manic scottish trio. // 10

Lyrics: The lyrics on this album appear to have been more thought out that previous albums and possibly are seen as 50:50 with the music. Some lyrics really hit to the bone without even listening to the music and a perfect example would be the opening two lines of 'Machines' (which I am nearly certain is about a very dark time in the lead singers life a few years ago when a family member passed away). 'I would dig a thousand holes to lay next to you/I would dig a thousand more if I needed to.' A few of the albums lyrics are typical biffy lyrics that I will never understand but it does not take away from the sing a long value. // 9

Overall Impression: After listening to this album track by track I felt satisfied and wanting more, feeling a rush from music I have not experience in quite awhile. Every song is something new which is something I love about an album. Even though I have been a big fan of this band for awhile I quite like this progression they have taken such as Silverchairs jump to Diorama (may not be the best example but the only one that came to mind). Having listened to it now around 10 times (1st track until the last) I am now looking for another album to even try to remove this from my favourite album of the year and possibly decade. Overall this deserves 10 out of 10. it's obvious that when the band decided to break the one album per year trend they were spending all that time making the perfect album to define them at this stage of their lives. The stand out tracks in my view are Whos Got A Match, Machines, As Dust Dances, Love Has A Diameter. So now that you have read this I hope you check this album out as it will be one that will be talked about in ten years from now. // 10

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overall: 9
Puzzle Reviewed by: mon_the_fraser, on october 27, 2007
1 of 1 people found this review helpful

Sound: Biffy Clyro, were to start? The band from Ayreshire with drummer and bassist brothers James and Ben Johnston and guitarist/frontman Simon Neil have a made a record they should be proud of, but also be cautious with. The album's forerunners (Vertigo of Bliss, Blackened Sky and Infinity Land) were adventurous, angst filled records with intelligent lyrics, padded out with and a violent and yet stangely beutiful guitar attack. However this new record is somewhat of a breakthrough into the mainstream of british music, has to say the new record has a more deft touch to it. There are some moments of heavy agressiveness on Living is a Problem because Everything Dies and Semi-Mental there are more songs that are more radio friendly. Songs such as "Folding Stars" and "Machines" show Simon Neil's other side as a song writer. // 8

Lyrics: Simon Neil again shines through with his lyrical ability. The loss of his mother still plagues him ("I'd look in the mirror and be angry because I look like her") and this comes through in "Folding Stars" and "Machines" although these softer songs (these songs are softer in a instrumental sense not a lyrical one) are about his mother other songs like Living Is A Problem are also about her. Other songs such as "semi-mental" tackle depression. The standout lyrics on this album are from "Now I'm Everyone", "Living Is A Problem" and "A Whole Child Ago". My Favourite lyric on the album on the album is "now I'm everyone it's less than iv'e ever been." // 10

Overall Impression: I wrote earlier that the band should be cautious this is because they have made a great album but it's problem is it's radio friendliness. At this years reading festival Biffy Clyro Played 11 songs, 8 of these were from Puzzle. This album will be their most popular but will not be the fan favourite. If they persist to play that number of songs from Puzzle they will gain a lot more fans but will lose the true fans. I not saying they have sold out but they should be wary. Overall this is a great record with many standout moments but if they continue to overplay these songs live there great legacy will be lost. // 9

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overall: 10
Puzzle Reviewed by: unregistered, on june 07, 2007
0 of 0 people found this review helpful

Sound: The change into the more meaningful and heart wrenched story begins now with Puzzle. The trio have definately major heights for which I think they have comfortably reached. Songs such as "A Whole Child Ago" and "Get F***ed Stud" which portrays a very crazy and amazing time signiture. The emotion that the lead singer gives through the songs defintaely pushes the songs a step further and makes them more effective to listen to. The song "Who's Gotta Match" reminds me of an old Foo Fighters song which I hope doesn't insult some hardcore BC fans. // 10

Lyrics: The lyrics are brilliantly put across both individually and with the music. Some lyrics that I come across though are really hard to get around and realise what they actually mean, But with a few listens back an forth you eventually get the interpretation of it. The lyrics are written to portray a despressive state of mind that the singer was in when the album was written due to the death of one of his family members. // 10

Overall Impression: My overall impression of the album is brilliant! The album does'nt dissapoint in the least and if I lost this copy I have I would definately buy a another one. It stands as one of the best albums of 2007 for me, if not the best. The songs that really stand out ofr me are "Saturday Superhouse", "Get F--ked Stud" and "A Whole Child Ago" These tracks have al the feelings and wierd time signitures you can get. They're also great songs to skank out to. // 10

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overall: 10
Puzzle Reviewed by: broken_bottles, on august 17, 2007
0 of 0 people found this review helpful

Sound: The most self-sabotaging band in the world finally break the mainstream with this, their fourth studio release. But have they sacrificed style for substance. Biffy were always an awkward, bloody-minded bunch: deliberately stupid name, awkward sound, oddball lyrics and their second album featured a masterbating woman on the cover. Due to this, the band were stuck in a rut, if not creatively, then commercially. Things came to a head when Simon Neil's mother died, plunging the singer into a deep depression. Puzzle then, is almost Simon's therapy, with many of the songs being about, or relating to his loss. To the sound, then. Fans will be pleased to know that it's still Biffy but it's everything about them that makes them unique honed to perfection. There's none of Vertigo of Bliss' scuzzy, manic Strat tones. The guitars are nicely rounded and sound like they have room to maneuver. Orchestral strings and choirs are also employed to spine-chill effect. Everything is bigger, more polished, but still posesses that same 'Biffy' twisted beauty. // 10

Lyrics: It's Biffy, so there are still some stupidly cryptic lines, but Simon does write some crackers. He's writing from the heart, and when he does the results are phenomenal. Living is a Problem..., Folding Stars and Machines are all about his loss and are utterly stirring pieces of music in every way. Simon's voice has also improved, ranging from gutteral roar to impassioned whisper. // 10

Overall Impression: It's the best of their albums, no question. There's not a duff track, but personal favourites are: Living is a Problem for its immense neo-classicism, A Whole Child Ago because it's Biffy doing power pop (honest) and Machines because it may well be the most moving song since Jeff Buckley's Hallelujah. Whether you buy it or not is up to you, so I'll leave you will Simon's own words: 'When people listen to our music a lot of them don't like it, but give it time and you'll find you may just grow to love it'. He was never one for self promotion. // 10

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overall: 8.7
Puzzle Reviewed by: Reyu, on november 02, 2007
0 of 0 people found this review helpful

Sound: Biffy Clyro released their fourth album entitled 'Puzzle' through 14th Floor on the 4th of June, 2007. It was produced by Garth Richardson, mixed by Andy Wallace in New York, and mastered by Howie Weinberg at Masterdisk. The opening track 'living is a problem because everything dies' is an absolutly incredible opening song to any album. Then 'saturday Superhouse' and 'as dust dances' sounds a bit more like the old Biffy Clyro we've all come to know and love. A whole child ago is very (dare I say it) powerpop while songs like semi-mental and get f--ked stud are two of the more rocking songs on the album, that brings us up to the final three songs and they include 'Folding stars' and 'Machines' which are two of the albums highlights. // 9

Lyrics: Lyrically, Biffy Clyro have always had unusual lyrics in their songs and this album is no different. "Which one of the witches do you belong? The one with the eyepatch or the one that's highly strung, I know you can't trust anyone". But that's what I've always loved about this band and makes them stand out from the rest. // 8

Overall Impression: This is a great release by Biffy Clyro and they deserve the success it has brought them. If you've never liked them before or even if you haven't heard of them until now, check out the following songs and see what you think then: Saturday Superhouse, Semi-Mental, Machines. Fun fact: tracks 4 & 8 have little compositions at the end of each song that join with track 12 to create a completely new song, if that's not art, I don't know what is! // 9

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overall: 9.7
Puzzle Reviewed by: SilentSounds, on august 11, 2008
0 of 0 people found this review helpful

Sound: No matter how much I listen to the Biffy, I can never get bored of them. This three piece from Ayrshire really shine more and more with all their albums, interweaving complex melodies with off the wall riffs and electric vocals. For me, this album 'Puzzle' is Biffy at their finest. From the first whisper of a sound in 'Living is a problen because everything dies' to the final ring of the last chord in 'Machines' this album is a powerhouse of Scottish modern rock. The rumble of guitar in Semi-mental harking back to a more refined and celtic version of Nirvana's early tracks such as 'Scoff', the tender quality of songs such as 'Folding Stars' showing a side of the band that no amount of down tuning or heavy vocals could ever convey with such conviction, the production of this CD is simply awesome, the tone of the guitars, the snap of the snare, the rumble of the bass all working harmoniously to make the sound in this record deserve an emphatic ten out of ten. // 10

Lyrics: The lyrics come off from Biffy sometimes as non-sensical. Perhaps this is a fair assumption, but I feel that the lyrics in this album, whether they make sense or not, compliment the music perfectly. Talking about setting midgets on fire in 'Who's got a match' has never been so catchy. In 'Now I'm everyone' the lyrics show a more downbeat sense, simply another weapon in the Biffy's mighty arsenal of Rock artillery. I give the lyrics nine out of ten, losing a point simply because I don't want it to seem like I'm too up their arses. // 9

Overall Impression: I have always likened Biffy to bands such as Nirvana, Metallica, and at points even Smashing Pumpkins. A wonderful blend if you ask me. These influences come out in the boom of the open stringed, tuned down guitar, the steady rock of the drums, reminiscent to me of Jimmy Chaimberlain, and the bass which can only be described as amazing. Each part of this band works well independently and as a homogenous unit. My favourite songs off the album are 'Saturday superhouse' and 'Now I'm eveeryone', because they showcase the harmonious relationship between all the instruments, and in 'Now I'm everyone' they prove that you don't always need amazing guitar riffs to make a song, the magnificent climax to the unassuming song nearly blew my cock off. Ten out of ten. // 10

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