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


Premiata Forneria Marconi (PFM)


Rock Progressivo Italiano

4.40 | 1908 ratings

From, the ultimate progressive rock music website

5 stars Some albums, for me, arenīt good or great to hear. They go further and deliver a profound experience. I know this effort for a long time, and it still moves my heart and mind. If the whole work was really made for a friend, as its title suggests (Per um amico ? For a friend), this relation was truly inspiring and full of high-standard emotions/experiences.

The CD on which I'm making this review is the 2001 BMG Ricordi edition, which doesn't have any bonus tracks. And my translation of the titles of the songs are made with Google translator. First I'll present an overall view of my analysis, then some observations will be pointed on each track.

When it comes to show how italian prog rock scenario is one of the bests in the world, this work can be indicated as an illustrious example. Four or maybe the totallity of the five musicians masters their instruments, and all of them make vocal participations, even though there is a lead vocalist. There are magnificent tunes based on avant-garde rock, classical music, mediterranean songs and some jazz feelings, almost all the time structured as symphonic prog.. If you don't know this work, my description can induce you to think that it can be confusing, too noisy and/or excessive. Not at all, at least for me. And it's easy to discover that many other listeners and I agree on this point. But if you're a fan that doesn't like complex prog, when too much instruments play at the same time, and/or when there are too many notes together at once. In this case, I'd suggest you start with side B of this release. And if you enjoy complexity, I think you'll know what to do. For me, even the most complex snippets are accesible, including when almost all of them are kind of soloing at the same time. This is the characteristic most intriguing to my rational mind, how they managed to reach such perfect balance between harmony and disharmony, with such richness, and therefore keeping it fresh through so many years of hearing. About the instruments, the sleeve informations states that three of the line-up handles many instruments. Even though the drummer doesn't appear playing many instruments, he performs a wide variety of rhythms and harmonies. And has a rare abbility, to modulate the force of the hits.

First track, Appena um Po (Just a Bit), starts with the synth and a tune that looks like it's coming from an harp, but I suppose it's taken from the mandolim. Very angelical. The acoustic guitar, with a mediterranean touch, makes the transition to the flute and harpsichord. This last one is played with an absolutely surprising and stunning harmony, which I've never heard on such instrument, while the others make an apotheotic crescendo. Vocal harmonies with one, two or three singers are subtle, elegant and lyric. Acoustic guitar and flute, by the end of this song, makes some unusual tunes.

Guitar, piano, drums and violin print a vigorous introduction to Generale (it's more probable that the translation is General, however it can also be Generic). Then they go to a march on drums,/piano, flute and the synth. A transition is made with a church organ, and it finishes with that vigorous mood once again.

Track three starts angelical. Per um Amico (For a Friend) is the track where the chords and the bass make awesome contributions, especially the violin solo and the fiercing lyricism of the acoustic guitar. The last one leads a fantastic and rapid harmony. And it is also the acoustic guitar that slows down the path to brilliantly end the track.

A vibrant tune on the acoustic guitar is accompanied by some effusive singing on fourth track Il Banchetto (The Banquet). The piano keeps up the pace. This spirit lasts through practically the whole song, with the exception to an avant-gardé synth work on its middle. This is the only short part of this track that IMO isn't perfect. But it's short, and they slowly regain most part of their genius.

Flute, acoustic guitar and vocals gently and moderatly begin Gerānio (Genarium). They delicatly and gradually explore the composition. Indeed, this happens many other times on this album, there is no hurry to execute. Part of the middle of this song is the only part that is not so brilliant, but is a very good part. Well, the second half of the track is a fabulous symphonic prog effort that slowly grows in complexity and energy.

Side A is all 5-stars. Side B is between 4.7 and 4.9.

arymenezes | 5/5 |


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