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Premiata Forneria Marconi (PFM) - Jet Lag CD (album) cover

JET LAG

Premiata Forneria Marconi (PFM)

 

Rock Progressivo Italiano

3.18 | 204 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

stefro
Prog Reviewer
2 stars Suitably revered throughout their native homeland and across the continent in Britain whilst also boasting a strong cult following in the USA, Italian outfit PFM are the proud owners of one of the progressive rock genre's outstanding statements in the form of the gorgeous 1972 offering 'Per Un Amico', an album so characteristic of all that is so alluring about the Italian end of the genre. Nonetheless, despite forging a lengthy, decade-spanning and fairly successful career that has stretched well into the 21st century, one can't help but get the feeling that PFM have never quite fulfilled the potential shown on 'Per Un Amico'. Whilst Italian-language follow-up 'L'isola Di Niente' showed promise, the move to Manticore Records and their subsequent, internationally-directed English- language albums never quite managed to replicate the ethereal charm of their earlier material, and as a result PFM would never quite make the commercial grade despite a series of well-received American-and-British shows. The group's fifth release, 'Jet Lag' would be the final attempt to capture an international audience, the album exhibiting a Mahavishnu Orchestra-influenced jazz-rock sound that jars awkwardly with their symphonic style. Tellingly, 'Jet Lag' would be the last English-language attempt by the group, before the dissolution of Manticore and the onslaught of punk-rock saw them return both to their home and their native tongue for 1978's 'Passpartu'. With the fusion elements diluting their sound into a glutinous and unconvincing stylistic hybrid, 'Jet Lag' ultimately suffers from serving up far too rich a musical palette, and therefore we find a talented outfit exerting their energies on material ill-suited to their individual talents. The songs are either too long, too complicated or simply stifled by the overindulgence afforded by the new direction, with the choppy title-track, the oddly-textured 'Breakin' In' and album-closer 'Traveler' all stretching promising melodies into overextended jams that though technically impressive, quickly become tiresome. Only the up-tempo 'Storia In LA' seems to find the right balance between the intricate jazz rhythms and symphonic templates, though it's a brief moment of clarity in an otherwise thoroughly overcooked whole. The real crux of the matter is that when compared to the era's top fusion exponents, 'Jet Lag' comes across as trite and fussy; it's also a million miles away from the dazzling symphonic renderings of 'Per Un Amico'. Simply put: 'Jet Lag' is sonic overkill personified.

STEFAN TURNER, STOKE NEWINGTON, 2012

stefro | 2/5 |

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