About two years since her second full-length, Taru returned with Puzzle. She did release <Blah Blah in 2012 and that continued the trend from 100 Percent Reality. The album starts off with “Puzzle” which was a surprising start to the album because it featured an indie pop rock style that I hadn’t heard from her.
With help from Yellow Monsters providing support as a back-up band, it’s great to hear Taru’s sound expanded from the singer-songwriter style. Her voice is still sharp and precise, able to jump pretty much wherever she wants. It’s the versatility in her voice that makes her stick out so much. It can be both insanely powerful or timid while always sticking to the melody.
She sticks to familiar genres that she’s performed before, but on Puzzle she does try new things like on “Carrie” which sounds a bit like alt-country and folk at different points. Unlike previous releases, the album feels expanded. The addition of strings and piano on songs really gives Taru a broader sound.
Taru has been performing for a long time and carries a lot of experience. She is also an expert live performer. Puzzle is a great release because it combines a lot of different elements together into one presentation. The variety of songs is nice, but don’t get too comfortable because things change quickly. It’s hard to see how she can release something that isn’t impressive and I’ve yet to be disappointed.