Wednesday 30 December 2009

The Album of the Decade.

Puzzle - Biffy Clyro
It was always going to be a Biffy album. You knew that right?

Of course you did.

Puzzle is just special. Special to me. Special to anyone that's fallen for the majesty of the Biff.

Why do I love it so? Passion I think. Unbridled passion that swells and crashes against you from every note. No track is throwaway, from 'Everywhere I Look Someone Dies' to 'Machines' the whole album just just feels like a wall of hard boiled emotion.

The violence and anger of the previous two Biffy albums aren't watered down here, they're just bottled up and tightly controlled and the result is an album that feels like it all has context and a carefully plotted theme. It's one of the few albums that takes me to many different places. It is one hell of a ride on an emotional level but it still has Biffy at their playful best on 'Who's Got a Match?' and 'Get Fucked Stud'.

But it's on 'Now I'm Everyone' that my favourite musical moment of the decade takes place. At one minute and fifty seconds the song breaks into a guitar refrain, repeated over and over and at two minutes and forty two seconds it explodes. Literally. The hairs on the back of my neck never fail to stand up. Joyous noise. Just joyous.

Every chorus sounds so personal. As if Simon Neil wants you to feel his pain. Wants you to know that this album means as much to him as it does to the fans. And here's the hard bit. Yep, so much of it just rings so true to me. 'Semi-Mental' (although I'm not alluding to the title AT) was about as spot on as a song can be to an individual particularly in the year the album came out (2007). And although now I can listen to it with a wry smile at the time it was deeply personal.

The humour and pathos of 'Get Fucked Stud' get largely overlooked because of the title. But I love the song musically and the way the first chorus is so gentle and then the anger just builds up and up. There's even a 'C' bomb dropped in there and although I don't get a thrill from the swearing I do get a thrill from a band speaking to me in the way I speak. If that makes sense. Even if my own 'C' bombs are rare. Honest.

AT will talk to you about 'Folding Stars' and how he loves it. And he's right too. It would have been a great way to end the album and it's a sign post to the new album and how that pans out. (Really, really well by the way.) However there are still two more tracks to Puzzle. And what tracks.

9/15ths is maybe the one nod to previous album 'Infinity Land', it has one of those repeated choruses, but it also has some of the best use of an orchestral backing I've heard. Huge immense and thunderous. And then comes 'Machines'.

I would did a thousand holes to lay next to you
I would dig a thousand more if I needed to
I look around the grave for an escape route of old routines
There doesn't seem to be any other way

Cause I've started falling apart I'm not savouring life
I've forgotten how good it could be to feel alive

An amazing song that I will always love. So beautifully sung and played. Truly one of my favourite songs ever.

Puzzle isn't for everyone. Biffy Clyro aren't for everyone. But if you're in the gang this is where Biffy grew up and became the band they were always threatening to be.

'Look out kid, cause here it comes.'

Tonight's post is dedicated to AT, JMcG and The Boy Cheese. Cheers for a great year guys.

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