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


Premiata Forneria Marconi (PFM)


Rock Progressivo Italiano

4.42 | 1529 ratings

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Conor Fynes
Prog Reviewer
4 stars 'Per Un Amico' - Premiata Forneria Marconi (8/10)

Here it is; the template for Italian symphonic rock, Premiata Forneria Marconi's 'Per Un Amico'. Although it has been forty years since the album was released, the popularity of this legendary Italian progressive band's second album still rides high. This was the album that got Premiata Forneria Marconi out into the world, and for good reason too; it is a thirty five minute journey of warm and charming music. While I may not be able to agree that 'Per Un Amico' is the masterpiece it was brought to my attention as, I can testify to its beauty and strength. Simply put, PFM's 'Per Un Amico' is an excellent album.

With a handful of other Italian progressive rock bands from the early '70s, Premiata Forneria Marconi laid down much of the groundwork for the world famous progressive music scene that was to grow there. Many of the sub-genre's staples are here in full; the Italian lyrics, theatrical flair, and ties with symphonic prog rock are represented here in full. Musically, a close comparison I could draw would be to some of Genesis' earlier work, for it's heavy focus on keyboard textures, as well as its generally playful mood. However, while much of PFM's music here is generally kept fairly optimistic in mood, some of the album's best moments come when they decide to take a more melancholic voice to their music. This is best demonstrated by the climax of the opener (and highlight of the album) 'Appena Un Po', where the song shifts from being rather light, to an incredibly dramatic build that could have easily been the soundtrack to some intense film.

The music here is mellow for the grand majority, only gaining momentum and real energy for the few climaxes over the course of the album. This could have made 'Per Un Amico' a very difficult listen to get through, but PFM pulls through simply based on how well they are able to work with the quieter end of dynamic. Like virtually everything else in 'Per Un Amico', the vocals are also quite laid back and subtle; not an approach that much coincides with the bombastic Italian prog rock I'm used to hearing. I do wish that there had been more dramatic pay-offs here, but PFM do get their flair for theatrics across magically when it comes time for it.

An excellent album, and while I may have wished for some greater consistency and excitement along this journey, Premiata Forneria Marconi's 'Per Un Amico' does not disappoint.

Conor Fynes | 4/5 |


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