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

PER UN AMICO

Premiata Forneria Marconi (PFM)

 

Rock Progressivo Italiano

4.42 | 1096 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

J-Man
Prog Reviewer
5 stars Within just a matter of months after their stunning debut, Premiata Forneria Marconi had already released another progressive rock classic in the form of Per Un Amico. This album took the unique sound and beautiful songwriting of Storia Di Un Minuto and turned the level of quality up yet another notch - Per Un Amico is a one of the most lovely albums I've ever heard, and it still stands today as one of the finest progressive rock albums ever to come from Italy. The strength of the compositions alone is enough to consider Per Un Amico a masterpiece, but the way they are perfectly arranged with diverse instrumentation and masterfully executed is still arguably one of the album's greatest assets. It's difficult to find any faults in Per Un Amico, and I'd recommend this in a heartbeat to anybody with even a slight curiosity in early seventies' Italian symphonic prog. As a matter of fact, I've yet to find an Italian prog album that betters this one. Labeling Per Un Amico as 'essential' wouldn't at all be out of the question.

Per Un Amico is, stylistically, a very similar album to Storia Di Un Minuto. This is best described as very emotional and pastoral progressive rock somewhere inbetween Genesis, King Crimson, and ELP. Premiata Forneria Marconi has always had a more classically-influenced edge, though, and in addition to bold grand piano sections, you should also expect an abundance of instruments like violin, flute, piccolo, and mellotron. Although the complexity of the music and arrangements may seem a bit inaccessible, I found myself loving Per Un Amico after my first listen; and, fortunately, my appreciation only grew with each succeeding spin. Even though the album is just thirty four minutes, there's so much to discover with each new listen. Every time I hear Per Un Amico I find myself discovering something I hadn't noticed before - that's extremely indicative of a masterpiece in my book.

"Appena Un Po'" opens up the album with one of Premiata Forneria Marconi's finest efforts - the sheer emotion contained within this song is breathtaking, with its precise arrangements and chilling melodies remaining absolutely unforgettable even after literally dozens of listens. "Generale" is a more complex instrumental tune, with lots of great time signature changes and complex portions keeping the listener on their toes. On the title track, the band plays a slightly more upbeat style complete with a fascinating instrumental portion about halfway through. I especially love the lush piano parts in this song. "Il Banchetto" is the longest track on Per Un Amico, and the pastoral acoustic guitars matched with haunting synthesizer melodies build fantastically into a bombastic symphonic prog climax. This is one of the album's highlights for sure. "Geranio" opens with a soft, pastoral acoustic guitar and flute passage, and continues in this mellow style before building into deeply emotional symphonic prog. The song ends with a dark, repetitive melody that closes up the album on a rather bombastic note.

Just like on Storia Di Un Minuto, the musicianship is absolutely impeccable on Per Un Amico. The arrangements feel a bit more detailed this time, though, and that's perfectly alright by me. The production is also very warm, organic, and pleasing. Everything is clearly audible, and I especially love the way the mix is perfectly balanced - this is one of the best seventies' productions out there.

Per Un Amico is a virtually flawless album in my eyes, and it's also one of my all-time favorites. Italian prog simply doesn't get any better than this, and anybody curious about the scene should make sure that this is one of the first albums you investigate. This essential masterpiece deserves no less than 5 stars from me. Premiata Forneria Marconi are often regarded as the 'definitive' Italian symphonic prog band; Per Un Amico is pretty good evidence why.

J-Man | 5/5 |

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