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


Premiata Forneria Marconi (PFM)


Rock Progressivo Italiano

4.42 | 1521 ratings

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Italian Prog Specialist
4 stars While Storia Di Un Minuta most certainly had a flair for the dramatic, slightly melancholic aspects of music, Per Un Amico is in many ways like it, yet fundamentally different. The bulk of the material isn't as in-your-face as I experienced the predecessor to be, perhaps due to the fact that it was my first encounter with the whole RPI scene.

Storia Di Un Minuto showed some clear influences, mostly in the shape of early Jethro Tull, while still maintaining a high level of originality. On Per Un Amico, these influences are in no way as notable, and I confidently state that they firmly and successfully express their own, unique sound on this release. It's more relaxed, mature and sophisticated than the emotional, atmospheric but still slightly rougher, slightly unpolished music coming out of Storia Di Un Minuto, perhaps with the exception of Generale, which in many ways resemble the cheerful EŽ Festa. But even here you can hear the transition musically. More daring in compositions, the use of many ideas that, almost magically, manages to form a single harmonious unity every single time.

As for the music, it contains even more classical overtones and is clearly more complex than it was earlier the same year, but when for some bands that means a colder, more mathematical approach, not so with PFM. Because the music throughout the album is positively vibrant with warmth and richness, with often long, tranquil passages of excellent acoustic guitar and piano, intertwined with more orchestral passages and very often, flute. The few bits of really notable electric guitar still shows some relation and admiration to Robert Fripp, but in the next second they are as far from the man as possible with the smooth, warm tone one can expect for this kind of music. That same warmth is not only limited to the instrumental side of the album, the vocals are equally soothing and patoral. The greatest difference, musically, must be that of the keys. Here we're served a more modern, in the words relative meaning, sound. More electronic, bordering on sharp from time to time. If you for some reason find this bothering there's no need to be alarmed: Mellotron-soaked melody will redeem that.

This is an album covering many moods and atmospheres along the way, but the one that lingers is above all the amazing laid-back, feel-good warmth and the fact that while staying true to this, that it still manages to be such an instrumental firework. It is, simply put and taken as a whole, a happy album. One that should be enjoyed outdoors, in summertime, with pleasant company, a glass of wine and in beautiful settings. I find it hard to believe myself, but this is another excellent album from Premiata Forneria Marconi, well deserving of the high accolades it receives from around the world.

4 stars.


LinusW | 4/5 |


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