Apart from his pleasingly accessible playing, redolent of Wes Montgomery, Grant Green and Kenny Burrell, the real secret weapon on the album is the prodigiously talented vocalist Aubrey Johnson. A teacher in the voice department at Berklee College of Music, she made her debut as leader with Unraveled (Outside in Music, 2020), which was received with critical acclaim. Proof, if it were needed, of her virtuosity is evident on the final note of Lyrica, where she hits a spine-tingling high D with surgical precision. The title track, appropriately the strongest tune on the album, is endowed with a hauntingly memorable head. Napoleon's solo here is typical of his excursions throughout, showing him to be a craftsman-like guitarist who plays to fulfil the instrumentalist's role rather than dominate with flashiness or unsuppressed egotism. In short, he is a very fine guitarist indeed. Hill's attractive compositions consolidate Puppets as a thoroughly satisfying album which does not require repeated plays to win the listener over, although repeated plays will be inevitable.