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Premiata Forneria Marconi (PFM) - L'Isola Di Niente CD (album) cover


Premiata Forneria Marconi (PFM)


Rock Progressivo Italiano

4.23 | 780 ratings

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Mellotron Storm
Prog Reviewer
5 stars January 1/08 Review #1,000

It's hard for me to believe that there was a time in my life when I listened to English-only music. Back then I just didn't see the point of listening to music with words that I didn't understand. Looking back now I just shake my head because lyrics never have been that important to me. Anyway there was this guy who used to come in my store(still does), and he always asked me about the music that I had playing. He is older than me, and he told me he used to listen to GENTLE GIANT, KING CRIMSON, GENESIS and all the prog greats back in the early seventies.That was the music he listened to in highschool. Anyway we forged a friendship and ever since I have been lending him up to 6 cds at a time, and he'll bring them back a couple of months later and give me his thoughts. So near the beginning of our friendship he brings me PFM's "L'Isola Di Niente" to listen to. I accept it knowing the vocals are in Italian, but I figure i'll give it a listen to satisfy him and return it the next time I see him. Haha. The rest is history as they say. Do you know how much money I have spent on non-English bands because of this cd !! I am so thankful that he came into my store though, and that he eventually lent me this incredible piece of music. This is my favourite from the band, I suppose it's that first love syndrome, although it's good to see Cesar Inca and Zowie Ziggy feel the same way. One significant lineup change is the addition of new bassist Jan Patrick Djivas, the original bassist for AREA.

"L'Isoloa Di Niente" opens with these powerful choirs for over 2 minutes. I can't say that this appeals to me much, but it makes what follows sound even better in my opinion.The bass is incredible as the vocals and guitar shine beautifully.This is heaven ! I must say that PFM have at least one mind blowing song on each of their first three(Italian vocal) albums. The guitar reminds me of Howe from YES. A change before 4 minutes to a GENESIS-like passage. Flute, violin, guitar and organ before 5 minutes is excellent. The choirs return briefly before 7 1/2 minutes followed by the same earlier melody. Nice. Check out the guitar 9 1/2 minutes in. Nice. I read somewhere that this is the longest song that PFM has ever done. "Is My Face On Straight" features mellow, reserved vocals. Some nice flute before it changes 2 1/2 minutes in to an almost sixties feel. Drums, vocals, bass and organ lead the way in this uptempo section. The flute returns in a melodic and gorgeous passage with vocals right behind. Fantastic tune. It ends with a silly section of accordian and the words "Is my face on straight ?" repeated over and over.

"La Luna Nuova" was a favourite of the band to play live. It opens with almost a dancing violin melody as other instruments are added. The flute and bass stand out. A GENESIS-like sound 2 1/2 minutes in with mellotron to follow before 3 minutes. Vocals come in before the uptempo melody returns before 4 minutes. Great bass lines. The GENESIS-vibe is back 5 1/2 minutes in to end it. "Dolcissima Maria" is such a beautiful ballad. It opens with piano before acoustic guitar and fragile vocals arrive. Violin follows. Flute 3 minutes in as vocals stop. The song brightens at this point. Simply stunning. "Via Lumiere" opens with the new bass player showing his stuff. Keys come in and the Jazz flavour is getting stronger. It kicks in before 2 minutes. Lots of intricate sounds are featured in this uptempo section. It calms right down 3 minutes in. Nice piano melodies. It takes off again 4 minutes in with some flute, this time out in front. The song ends with a gorgeous, relaxing passage.

It is truly amazing how this band makes such complex music, and at the same time they make it so melodic and beautiful.

Mellotron Storm | 5/5 |


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