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Premiata Forneria Marconi (PFM) - Per Un Amico CD (album) cover


Premiata Forneria Marconi (PFM)


Rock Progressivo Italiano

4.42 | 1511 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
4 stars This was my second foray into the exciting world of Rock Progressivo Italiano after Le Orme's "Felona E Sorona" and I have to say that I was impressed with this classic album by Premiata Forneria Marconi. It contains just about everything you could want or expect from an early seventies full-on prog album only with the Mediterranean flair that separates RPI from English prog.

These five tracks here present a good range of sounds and music thanks to a variety of instruments and the free crossing of rock, classical and folk music. PFM wisely stay within certain limits, however, and the music never gets too heavy or weird, though there is some playful fuzz-toned guitar on "Generale!" and some synthesizer experimentation on "Il banchetto" which really sounds like what some musicians were toying with back in the day.

I noticed a formula that is true for four of the five tracks. There is a main theme at the beginning, a different theme carried out over the instrumental section in the middle, and a brief return to the main theme before the piece wraps up. "Generale!" is an instrumental but follows this pattern. The final track, "Geranio" deviates from this formula as it spends over a minute slowly fading with a dark musical motif played out on piano, synthesizer, and bass to a steady thumping of the drums. It's an unanticipated ending to an album that mostly played out with gentle acoustic guitar, violin, and piano or shifted gears into more lively and active music with more electric sounds.

One thing I found though was that for every track there will be some abrupt change in the music and each track has some pleasant surprises. My favourites are the title track for its mandolin-like strummed guitar and synthesizer solo part and "Appena un Po'" which is a great introduction to this beautiful album.

The only part that doesn't appeal to me is the synthesizer experimentation part in "Il banchetto". The song itself is a beautiful piece of work; however, the synthesizer sounds seem harsh and intrusive. They get replaced by a piano solo before the song returns but it doesn't make up for it. Still, you can't blame them for trying out the equipment. I just wish they had done it without interrupting the fine flow of music that had come thus far.

This is a wonderful work of classic prog and a great album to hear as an intro to Italian prog. The lyrics are all in Italian and I like it that way. The vocals are soft and smooth and go well with the acoustic parts of the music. Recommended!

FragileKings | 4/5 |


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