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Puzzle King - Anna's Revolution CD (album) cover


Puzzle King

Crossover Prog

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3 stars Puzzle King is a project started by French multi-instrumentalist Fran'ois Puzenat in 2009. Fran'ois not only wrote the lyrics, script, and music for the concept album, Anna's Revolution, but he also plays guitars, keyboards, and sings, and he programmed the drums for the album as well. The album features a few musical guests as well: Nathalie Prost on bass, Yannick Thinon on trombone, and Pierre Fournier on clarinet. The plot of the concept album Anna's Revolution takes place between 1913 and 1917 during the Russian Revolution. The two main characters, Anna and Anatoli, are trying to preserve their love in spite of the war and revolution going on around them, and the extremism that are a result.

As far as musical style, Fran'ois himself describes the project as having its roots set in the 70's with the foliage spreading into modern influences. The style comes off as more symphonic, and a bit eclectic. Mr. Puzenat mentions a number of influences, including more classic influences such as Genesis, King Crimson, Yes, Saga, and more modern influences like Anathema, Pain of Salvation, Sylvan, The Mars Volta, Blind Ego, Lazuli, and Nemo. Along with these very wide spread influences, I felt like I could also hear some influence from the Beatles at times. All of these influences come together for a very unique and eclectic style that I found very engaging and interesting, and as such I would recommend the album as worthwhile to many Prog fans out there.

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Report this review (#787815)
Posted Saturday, July 14, 2012 | Review Permalink
Honorary Collaborator
4 stars The French project PUZZLE KING is the creative vehicle of composer and instrumentalist Francois Puzenat. The project was instigated back in 2009, and following a three year creation period the debut album "Anna" was self released in 2012.

Francois Puzenat has made himself an interesting and fairly intriguing debut album with "Anna", an elongated conceptual creation that is hard to place within a set categorization of the art rock universe. The symphonic and cinematic musical tendencies combined with the theatrical lead vocals lead me to believe that fans of French bands such as Ange might make out something of a key audience for this CD however, and as the story is told in French those who enjoy conceptual productions will need to be familiar with that language to follow the proceedings of this particular specimen.

Report this review (#813278)
Posted Saturday, September 1, 2012 | Review Permalink
kev rowland
Honorary Reviewer
3 stars Puzzle King is a project by François Puzenat who for his debut concept album wrote the script and lyrics, composed the music, programmed the drums, recorded the guitars, keyboards and vocals (in French and English) and added sound effects. The bass was recorded by Nathalie Prost while Guillaume Ninon from Studiolaf (Nemo, Wolfspring ...) was responsible for the mixing and mastering. It tells the story of two lovers during the Russian Revolution, Anna and Anatoli, who are struggling to preserve their love in spite of the war, in spite of the revolution. So, quite a concept, and one that is very personal to François whose grandparents were inspired by the Russian revolution as they were growing up in France.

My views of the album have changed quite a bit the more I have played it, and although there are some high points this is more points for the idea than the execution. The vocals don't always work, and it really does have the feeling of a solo project as opposed to band effort. For me this just doesn't cut it in terms of musical ideas and execution, and I found that I was really only playing it repeatedly as I had to review it as opposed to playing it because I enjoyed it. It is not an awful album, far from it, but it just doesn't work for me. It scrapes three stars as I think it would be unfair to give it two, but if I was able to give it 2.5 then that would probably be the fairest mark. However, François has created an interesting wesbite with lots of information,

Report this review (#862026)
Posted Monday, November 19, 2012 | Review Permalink

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