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


Premiata Forneria Marconi (PFM)


Rock Progressivo Italiano

4.24 | 824 ratings

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4 stars It took Premiata Forneria Marconi slightly longer to follow up their breakthrough album which had to do with their touring and the re-recording of their previous material in English on Photos Of Ghosts. Listening to their third studio album it's obvious that the band has evolved since we last heard them but has it all turned out for the better?

The album's title track opens up with a two minute choir intro that I assume is here to set up the mood but instead overstays its welcome and doesn't work all that well on repeated visits. The rest of the composition features a more mature Premiata Forneria Marconi-sound which also tends to be much more calculated and ends up short on the creative spontaneity. Still one has to love this performance because it shows the band on top of their game and had it not been for the choir intro it would have easily become an album highlight.

Is My Face On Straight is this album's English-sung tune which definitely feels out of place with the rest of the material. If there actually was any other reason for this than the obvious stab at another commercial breakthrough then I would have given it a break but on this album this track just sticks out like a sore thumb.

La Luna Nuova and Dolcissima Maria mark a return to the great sound from the band's previous two albums where the latter is especially memorable for its soft acoustic ballad sound and a completely mesmerizing melody. But just as we've got comfortable in this familiar territory comes something completely unexpected and blows us completely out of the water!

Via Lumiere begins with an unusual bass-driven section that then transforms into a mix of Jazz Rock/Fusion sound with slight nods at Larks' Tongues In Aspic Part Two! This unexpected changed of direction completely intrigued me and I must have repeated this particular composition at least three times after the first time hearing this record. It's marked this record's definite highlight and made me even more interested in how this whole direction would evolve on the band's future records!

It's great to see Premiata Forneria Marconi trying new ideas here but I personally would have preferred an even deeper exploration of the Jazz Rock/Fusion territory which was so apparent on Via Lumiere and not smoothing the transition into a half-baked effort. Fortunately there is just enough great music here to turn L'Isola Di Niente into another excellent release with a taste of the things to come!

***** star songs: Via Lumiere (7:25)

**** star songs: L'Isola Di Niente (10:48) La Luna Nuova (6:27) Dolcissima Maria (4:08)

*** star songs: Is My Face On Straight (6:41)

Rune2000 | 4/5 |


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