Plone's album Puzzlewood continues in their very specific oeuvre of midtempo music with a playful, childlike hue to it. It's all soft edges and singable tunes in a digital mishmash that includes electronics, synths, trumpet, piano, guitar, strings, and exotic percussion. This happy orchestration yields bite sized songs full of lift and happiness. The album is a comeback after a twenty year absence, and although the genre they helped pioneer has fallen out of favor, their self-consciously retro sound makes their music a timeless affair.
Plone experiments with different styles and influences. "Miniature Magic" has a vintage, groovy feel to it that is quintessential to Plone's sound. "Watson's Telescope" is another 1970's throwback with a swinging pulse. "The Model Village" dabbles in Latin American rhythms for a springtime hit. "Circler" is the scaled down song, enveloped in strings and a creamy synth lead with nods to classical music. Many of these songs have a kickin', hammered drum track, including "Chalk Stream," "Build a Small Fire," and "Day Trip." One of the few songs with vocal samples, "Sarcelle," is a zany uptempo jam that calls to mind pillow fights and jumping on the bed.
Puzzlewood is very relaxed with dense, layered production and a strong sense of humor. The light touch and infectious character lends it to bouncing around and movement in general. This is a great spin for a party, or just for party people.