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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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4 stars 'L'isola di niente' starts with a long, pleasing a cappella choral intro before the band jumps in with some strident but majestic guitar, crashing cymbal and echoing singing. The track changes tempo and mood dramatically several times before fading out nearly 11 minutes later. An impressive track that does not feel that long.

'Is my face On Straight' is sung in English, with the vocals mixed to the back and sounding like they are being sung at the other end of an echoing room. Not very impressive, unlike the music itself, which is very pleasant and full of twists and turns. I especially like the funky guitar and bass, the flute jam, and the accordion (emulated on synth?) solo. I would have preferred the band to have come up with Italian lyrics which I'm sure would have sounded better on this track than Sinfield's strained attempt at being ironic and clever.

'La Luna Nova' is a great track, full of pleasing sounds and melodies: violin, keyboards sounding rather like medieval trumpets, breathy flute, pounding drums and twangy, strident guitar. This too has several changes of tempo and mood, typical of PFM. Love the trumpet-sounding synth. The piece is very melodic and catchy, and you'll be tapping your foot to this one for sure.

'Dolcissima Maria' is gorgeous: a simple piece with mellow acoustic guitar, calm keyboards, violin, and flute, and beautifully sung almost at a whisper. It is such a lovely tune and I just have to hum and whistle along to this one.

'Via Lumiére' starts with some bass noodling that introduces very slow, pleasant guitar before suddenly launching into a cacophony of strumming and raucous keyboards. Just as suddenly it calms down again into a jazzy, barroom number before taking off again. And then comes the most glorious, melodic ending: keyboards, guitar and drums play as if the sun has just come out, only to fade out to end the track.

After this album PFM released "The World Became The World" which has the five tracks from "L'Isola Di Niente" plus the track 'The World Became The World' (which is a rehash of 'Impressione Di Settembre' from the band's first album), all with English lyrics by Sinfield which are not translations of the original Italian lyrics. I have read several incorrect mappings of the tracks on the two albums, so here is the correct correspondence: The track 'L'Isola Di Niente' became 'The Mountain', 'La Luna Nova' became 'Four Holes In The Ground', 'Dolcissima Maria' became 'Just Look Away', 'Via Lumiére' became 'Have Your Cake And Eat It', and 'Is My Face On Straight' is, of course, the same track. In my opinion, 'Dolcissima Maria' is much better than 'Just Look Away' and, in general, I prefer the album "L'Isola Di Niente" to "The World Became The World", although I must say I do like Sinfield's lyrics on the track 'The World Became The World'.

This is another short album from PFM, but a gem nonetheless. I regard this and the band's first two albums as top-notch symphonic Progressive Rock. Whilst it is perhaps not essential in the same way as the first two albums, I still like it very much and can recommend it unreservedly, and would say you should also have it in your collection, along with the other two albums. If such a thing were possible I'd award it 4.5 stars but will settle for 4 (Excellent addition to any progressive music collection).

Fitzcarraldo | 4/5 |


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