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Premiata Forneria Marconi (PFM) - L'isola di niente CD (album) cover

L'ISOLA DI NIENTE

Premiata Forneria Marconi (PFM)

 

Rock Progressivo Italiano

4.27 | 549 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

LinusW
Special Collaborator
Italian Prog Specialist
4 stars L'isola Di Niente might just as well be PFM's compositionnally most ambitious project, when comparing their three classic albums (Storia Di Un Minuto, Per Un Amico and this one). But while adding...organisation, the distinct PFM sound seems somewhat left behind in favour of a more mainstream prog sound. Yes is the band that first comes to mind, with very lush and fully-packed soundscapes and a vague, but omnipresent touch of The Beatles. Both the guitar and the bass (which is now provided by Jan Patrick Djivas of Area fame) show many similarities to the colleagues in the British, quintessential, prog group. Needless to say, that sure means a noticeably upgraded bass sound.

Now, a step in Yes' direction is hardly an indication of music of lesser quality but, as stated earlier, leaves you with something of a long face after hearing, and then expecting, Per Un Amico.

The sound on this album is very different from Storia Di Un Minuto and Per Un Amico. Where piano/acoustic guitar parts were abundant (they're still here, though), we're now served a more classical symphonic outline with the rest of the music served on top of a tight rythm section, with shorter 'solo' outbursts from the rest of the instruments. Both the drummer and the bassist have a tougher time on L'Isola Di Niente. But just about everything is more intense! There is a lot of force in the music, a driving character which of course also was present on earlier releases, but it's just so much more obvious here. L'Isola Di Niente, La Luna Nouva (a lot of baroque feeling on this one, although there's less on the album as whole compared to earlier releases) and Via Lumière remains sweet spots for just that reason. Frantic guitar, flute and keys takes us along whirling, sweaty passages that once again shouts Yes. Pehaps with the exception of parts of Via Lumière, which instead is openly Crimsonesque.

PFM's English forays are perhaps the only way some people have come in contact with the band. In those cases, what a shame. There is a song penned in English on L'Isola Di Niente, courtesy of Peter Sinfield, who have written for KC and ELP in the past. A quirky little devil, with the name Is My Face On Straight, which actually features some accordion. Isn't it amazing how fast you can swing from being very conservative about bands singing in other languages than English? I can now add that just as fast, you become conservative to an Italian band singing in something else than Italian. While not a bad song, it still leaves a bad taste due to the English and the annoying vocal production. Way down back. Dolcissima Maria with its folky acoustic guitar (Strawbs?) and sweet melodies is the other 'lesser' song on the album. It feels..lazy, I want more. I just want more, even though it isn't at all bad.

To sum it all up: yet another excellent release from the band, and a big step forward when it comes to composition. Unfortunately, some of the bands trademark sound and atmosphere is lost along the way, and that comes with a price. There are also two songs that just can't reach for masterpiece status, leaving L'Isola Di Niente somewhere around 3.5 stars. But my heart, and the best of the material here, still tells me it's necessary to round up.

Thus 3,5 stars, but going for 4.

//LinusW

LinusW | 4/5 |

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