Puzzle (Biffy Clyro album)

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Puzzle
Studio album by Biffy Clyro
Released 4 June 2007
Recorded The Warehouse Studio
Vancouver, British Columbia

The Farm Studios
Gibsons, British Columbia
Genre Alternative rock
Label 14th Floor
Producer Garth "GGGarth" Richardson
Biffy Clyro
Biffy Clyro chronology
Infinity Land
(2004)
Puzzle
(2007)
Singles 2001-2005
(2008)
Singles from Puzzle
  1. "Semi-Mental"
    Released: 25 December 2006
  2. "Saturday Superhouse"
    Released: 5 March 2007
  3. "Living Is a Problem Because Everything Dies"
    Released: 14 May 2007
  4. "Folding Stars"
    Released: 16 July 2007
  5. "Machines"
    Released: 8 October 2007
  6. "Who's Got a Match?"
    Released: 4 February 2008
Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic 3.5/5 stars[1]
Drowned in Sound 7/10[2]
The Guardian 3/5 stars[3]
Kerrang! 5/5 stars[4]
musicOMH 4/5 stars[5]
NME 8/10[6]
Q 3/5 stars[7]
Rocklouder 5/5 stars[8]
The Times 4/5 stars[9]
Rock Sound 10/10[10]

Puzzle is the fourth studio album by Scottish rock band Biffy Clyro, released 4 June 2007 - the album was later released in America in August. It is the band's first album since leaving Beggars Banquet (though the sleeve artwork still features the Beggars Banquet logo).

The album reached #2 in the UK Albums Chart to widespread critical acclaim, receiving several perfect ratings and was voted the best album of 2007 by Kerrang! and Rock Sound. The album also reached #17 in Ireland, and #39 in the overall world charts. The album is certified Platinum in the UK, having sold over 300,000 copies. It has as of February 2009, sold over 300,000 worldwide.[11]

This album is notable for having somewhat more straightforward song structures and a more melodic overall sound than their previous work, while still retaining some more unusual elements.[1]

Overview[edit]

The album was recorded from September to November 2006 at The Warehouse Studio in Vancouver, Canada, and The Farm Studio in Gibsons, British Columbia. It was produced by Garth Richardson, engineered by Mike Fraser, mixed by Andy Wallace in New York, and mastered by Howie Weinberg at Masterdisk. The band said that they had 40 tracks to choose from,[12] and that they had been recording with composer Graeme Revell and the Seattle Symphony Orchestra whilst making the album.[13] The artwork for Puzzle and its subsequent singles was designed by Storm Thorgerson. It is possible that the artwork is a reference to the song Glitter and Trauma, which includes the line "your skin will break into jigsaw shaped pieces of meat."

Lyric meaning and music stylistic changes[edit]

After the release of Infinity Land the band had stated that they felt they had pushed their original sound to the limit and wanted to try a more straight forward approach to songwriting. Lyrically the album is about the death of Simon Neil's mother Eleanor who had died a few years prior to the recording of Puzzle. The most noticeable difference between Puzzle and the bands previous work is the more stream lined song structures and lack of time signature changes which dominated their early work. Influences such as Sunny Day Real Estate and Red House Painters can be heard heavily on this album.[citation needed]

Track listing[edit]

All songs written and composed by Simon Neil [14]

No. Title Length
1. "Living Is a Problem Because Everything Dies"   5:18
2. "Saturday Superhouse"   3:19
3. "Who's Got a Match?"   2:23
4. "As Dust Dances" (Contains track 2/15ths - 1:02) 4:34
5. "A Whole Child Ago"   3:07
6. "The Conversation Is..."   3:40
7. "Now I'm Everyone"   3:50
8. "Semi-Mental" (Contains track 4/15ths - 0:45) 3:22
9. "Love Has a Diameter"   3:53
10. "Get Fucked Stud"   3:37
11. "Folding Stars"   4:15
12. "9/15ths"   2:46
13. "Machines"   3:56

On the US & Japanese version the first track was split into "Intro" (1:25) & "Living Is A Problem Because Everything Dies" (3:53)

Unreleased tracks[edit]

  • "Help Me Become Captain" (Previously known as "Angels Fall")

was later renamed "Help Me Be Captain" and released as a B-side to "The Captain". The song remained the same as the original version played at live shows in 2005.

  • "Captain, Sir..." (A counterpart to "Help Me Become Captain")

was originally a counterpart to "Help Me Become Captain". It was developed into "The Captain" and was included on their 5th album "Only Revolutions" and released as the third single from the album.

  • "I'm Probably In Your Pocket"

was originally set to be on "Only Revolutions" but it was cut from the album. The track was included on Biffy Clyro's sixth studio album Opposites under the title "Pocket".

  • "The Ghouls of Bymbombidor"

Sections from this song were used in their 2006 cover of a Weezer song "Buddy Holly" (for Kerrang! magazine cover CD, High Voltage!: A Brief History of Rock) and in the Puzzle album track 9/15ths.

Editions[edit]

  • A Standard CD
  • A Limited Edition CD/DVD which includes a bonus track, "Drop It" (a re-recording of a demo, "Drop It Dickhead"), as well as a bonus DVD, which includes a 40 minute documentary, The Making of Puzzle, as well as the videos for "Semi-Mental", "Saturday Superhouse" and "Living is a Problem Because Everything Dies".
  • Fans who pre-ordered the iTunes download received a 10 minute video entitled Pieces, which contains footage of the band at their four night run at King Tut's Wah Wah Hut, Glasgow, Scotland, in December 2005, as well as two exclusive bonus tracks:
    • "Semi-Mental (Acoustic)"
    • "As Dust Dances (Acoustic)"

These bonus features are as yet unavailable separately.

Personnel[edit]

  • Simon Neil – vocals, guitar, glockenspiel
  • James Johnston – vocals, bass guitar
  • Ben Johnston – vocals, drums
  • Garth "GGGarth" Richardson – producer
  • Andy Wallace - mixing
  • Mike Fraser - engineer
  • Howie Weinberg - mastering
  • Graeme Revell – string and choir orchestrations
  • Seattle Symphony Orchestra – violins, violas, cellos, choir
  • Ben Kaplan – keyboard
  • Mike Norman – keyboard, saxophone on "Now I'm Everyone"
  • Dorothy Lawson – cello on "Machines"
  • Ylber Sejdiu – Model on artwork
  • Carolyn Roper - Body artist on artwork

Release history[edit]

Puzzle was released in various countries in 2007.

Country Release date Record label Format Catalogue number
United Kingdom 4 June 2007 14th Floor CD&DVD 825646989355
United Kingdom 4 June 2007 14th Floor CD 825646997633
United States 18 September 2007 Roadrunner CD 1686-179762
Japan 10 October 2007 Roadrunner CD RRCY-29146
Japan (re-release) 22 April 2009 Roadrunner CD RRCY-25106
Canada 2007 14th Floor CD 2980628
Australia 2007 14th Floor CD 2564699763

References[edit]

External links[edit]