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


Premiata Forneria Marconi (PFM)


Rock Progressivo Italiano

4.42 | 1529 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
4 stars This is my first and only experience with PFM, but suffice it to say that I will certainly be purchasing more Italian prog (if only I can find it...). This album has some phenomenally high moments and relatively few low ones. I always gravitate toward creative and predominantly instrumental music, so naturally this is right up my alley.

Appena Un Poco. Quite possibly in my top 25 prog songs of all time, this piece really is remarkable. From the dreamy fade-in to the funky groove to the powerful mellotron/keyboard melody to the chaotic ending crescendo, this song oozes creativity and attention to detail. I really have no adequate benchmark to compare this to (a combination of Yes' And You and I and Genesis' Fountain of Salmacis is the best I can come up with, and that's not really close), though all proggers will appreciate this music.

Generale. Here is where I hear the Gentle Giant and Gryphon similarities: very cool and diverse instrumentation (piccolo, violin, etc), rapid fire changes between melodies, and tons of interesting fills from backing instruments (especially drums and piano here).

Per Un Amico. A nice mellow intro hints at the first "normal" song from PFM on this album, but no! Halfway through we find a great instrumental that winds through some fast strumming, leading to a spectacular crescendo, followed by a mild yet stately conclusion. Another great example of PFM's unique sound.

Il Banchetto. Here is where things start to become a bit uneven. Nice vocal harmonies lead to a mysterious and quite well-done keyboard/mellotron bit. However, we then sit through a few minutes of what sounds to me like cheesy Nintendo music before eventually winding back to the chorus. I don't mind experimenting, but I'm not going to let PFM skate by while ELP, King Crimson and others are penalized for the same thing.

Geranio. The trend toward lower quality escalates. This song revolves around a happy, catchy tune and an interesting waltzy bridge as highlights, with a lot of quiet filler and a repetitive (and uncreative) ending. Really kind of a headscratcher--maybe these musicians aren't as mature as they indicated with earlier tunes.

Some great ideas, instrumentation and creativity, but not entirely consistent; therefore this gets the same treatment that other albums that fit this description receive. Original and entertaining music? Certainly, but a masterpiece this is not.

Flucktrot | 4/5 |


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