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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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Sean Trane
Special Collaborator
Prog Folk
3 stars The Isle Of Nothing is PFM's third album, still released on RCA by the almost original (there is the new bassist with a Belgian name) line-up and the last of the classic Italian releases, the following ones being marketed for worldwide audiences (names like Chocolate Kings etc.), but already in this album, we have a track sung (passably) in English. While the artwork is lesss na´ve than the PUA artwork, it's nevertheless not my idea of the desert island, which is just as well, since this album is nowhere near that stupid list that all progheads love to make.

PFM has often been accused of being Genesis -inspired but throughout the three albums I know, I haven't detected that much of it, but much more ELP and to a lesser extent, Crimson. This is again true for LIDN as the opening almost 11-mins title track starts on semi-discordant choirs (overstaying their welcome) than a loud guitar and many other instruments take ober from the flute until the mellotron. Upon the return of these icy choirs (shortly this time), the track has taken an enormous sound, probably the loudest PFM were over their early career. The only English-sung track is my face on straight, (most likely talking of the masques we have to put on everyday to avoid troubles or questions) is not exactly my fave and the approximate vocals are not the only reason, but it's of BJH calibre(not necessarily a compliment) and is not a disgracze as one could fear., the stupid accordion being a "faute de gout" rather than a real flaw.

The flipside starts on The New Moon starts on violin and percussions and in a very classical manner, than veering in an ELP-like "rearranging the classics", unusually loudly as well, but overall the exercise has been done by Dutch bands many times over. The middle section rocks rather hard, but remains uninteresting to this writer; and in spite of the loudness, this track never fails to bore me. Needlessly complicated tracks and overly laden (too much going on) tend to be soporific for me. Sweetest Mary on the other hand is one of those really quiet tracks that are sleep-inducing after the boredom of the previous track. The soporific mood is carried over the intro of the finale Via Lumiere, until the song embarks on 200 MPH sections, alternating the quiet and loud passages, thus waking you up in a confusing moment.

I've only heard the English version (World Became World) of this album once, and although I find it less soporific than its Italian genitor, it might just be because of the added Settembre track (a SDUM track), but certainly not from the original tracks being translated. Outside the opening and closing tracks, I don't fid much to marvel over.

Sean Trane | 3/5 |


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