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Premiata Forneria Marconi (PFM)

Rock Progressivo Italiano

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Premiata Forneria Marconi (PFM) Serendipity album cover
3.01 | 115 ratings | 4 reviews | 8% 5 stars

Good, but non-essential

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Studio Album, released in 2000

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. La Rivoluzione (3:55)
2. K.N.A. (4:49)
3. L'Immenso Campo Insensato (5:58)
4. Nuvole Nere (4:27)
5. Ore (5:21)
6. Automaticamente (4:26)
7. La Quite che Verrą (4:56)
8. Domo Dozo (3:35)
9. Polvere (5:04)
10. Sono un Dio (4:39)
11. Exit (2:27)

Total Time: 49:35

Line-up / Musicians

- Franz Di Cioccio / vocals, percussion
- Franco Mussida / guitars, vocals
- Flavio Premoli / piano, Hammond organ, synths, vocals
- Jan Patrick Djivas / bass, synth programming

- Corrado Rustici / guitar solo (11), co-arranger & producer
- Solis String Quarteto / strings (1-4)
- Roberto Gualdi / drums
- Fernanda Pivano / voice

Releases information

CD S4 - 498901 2 (2000, Italy)
CD Sony Music ‎- 88875000942 (2014, Italy)

Thanks to ProgLucky for the addition
and to Quinino for the last updates
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PREMIATA FORNERIA MARCONI (PFM) Serendipity ratings distribution

(115 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(8%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(14%)
Good, but non-essential (43%)
Collectors/fans only (26%)
Poor. Only for completionists (10%)


Showing all collaborators reviews and last reviews preview | Show all reviews/ratings

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Fishy
3 stars An album from PFM which was released in 2000 ! Boy, that made me curious to the way their music has changed since the seventies cause it's been since then that I listened to a new release. After several listens I must say the sound definitely has changed a lot. Serendipity is a collection of very different tracks varying between melodic pop/rock and progressive rock. Most of the time the tempo is pretty high. PFM innovated their sound to actual standards, most notably the sound of the percussion is very modern. There also seems plenty of sound effects in vocals and instruments.

Can you still recognise the sound of the band you know of "Photo's of ghosts" ? Yes and no.

Yes because the music still holds lovely interludes with gentle acoustic guitars and piano. Also the keyboards provide the listener from nice mellotron, moog and hammond sounds reminiscent to their first years.

No because ... - the sound of the guitar chords is rather heavy although I find this rough edge enjoyable, it will surely alienate some of the fans of the old PFM. - The structure of the tracks have been simplified. These rather simple tracks won't invite the listener to play this over and over again as some of you may have been playing the early albums. - The vocals are carrying the songs instead of the instrumental parts. The vocals used to have a timid nature although that changed from "Chocolate kings" on. On serendipity you simply can't imagine the music without the vocals as all the arrangements seem to be build around it. - Looking at the credits you'll notice a lot of external songwriters have been involved in the process of song writing even if founding members Mussida and Premoli are still present. - The use of rhythm throughout the whole album seems more important

Let's take a look at the tracks :

The dynamic "La Rivoluzione" contains plenty of energy provided by stunning guitar riffs and keyboards that sound traditional at one time and tend to avant-garde on other moments. A track like "k.n.a." shows a combination of melodic rock, progressive, psychedelic and folk music. It's chaotic wall of sound surely is interesting. On "L'immenso campo insensate" the electric side of the sound of Serendipity comes to the front with lots of repetitive keyboards and guitar chords but the violin and acoustic guitar in the interludes add the most interesting part of the music, to my humble opinion. Still the intense powerful chorus is not bad but after having heard most of the album you realise this trick is used one's too often like on "Nuvole nere". This is another track with strong melodies. Here the vocals sound quite exotic during the verse. but again, this song is way to short. PFM like we know it, returns for the first time at the beginning of "Ore" a quiet song with enjoyable melodies. Later on it changes into a typical mainstream rock thing but a good one ! It's get worse on "Automaticamente", a forgettable pop/rock track which obviously had to be there for pleasing the big record company. Fortunately the next track "La Quiete che verra" holds the most progressive sounds of the album. Not only for it's strong melodies but the arrangements are undeniable progressive rock. Even this stunning emotional track has a simple structure which leaves you bored after playing the song only a couple of times. The keyboard parts on "Domo Dozo" sound familiar, the guitar chords are stunning and there's some interesting changes in mood and rhythm. This is one of the more technical tracks on the album and most interesting for prog fans or even prog metal fans. Cheesy is the right word to use to describe "Polvere" but the arrangements are highly enjoyable. Like most of the tracks "Sono un dio" has an industrial atmosphere but when it flows into the last track "exit" there's some excellent melodies played by guitar and keyboards.

Conclusion : I do not regret to have purchased this album cause this progressive pop is far from being bad. The melodies are accessible but excellent nevertheless and the arrangements are awesome. No real flaws. But I can't recommend this album to the average visitor of this site as it is far from being on par with the greatest moments of the bands history. The tracks are too short and have a predictable structure. If this was a mainstream rock site one extra star would be appropriate.

Review by ZowieZiggy
3 stars Even if this "PFM" is not the one we have known in the seventies, this album is quite decent.

Simple compositions, easily accessible. Some are more rock oriented like the opener "La Rivoluzione", Eastern influences and heavy sounds during "K.N.A.". Gabriel-esque vocals! Here and there a highlight like "L'Immenso Campo Insensato". Powerful vocals and a nice melody are the ingredients. One of my fave out of this album.

"Nuvole Nere" reminds me of "Genesis" while they were only three. Not the best influence I must say. This album is in line with its predecessor "Ulysse" which was a pleasant come back to business. This one is just a continuation in the same direction.

The band is now touring abroad again and little (to none) songs from this album will make a long life on stage. Easy listening music like "Ore" does not hurt anyone actually. Just a pleasant Italian ballad with nice instrumental arrangements and a strong melody. I far much prefer this type of music than their extremely poor "Miss Baker".

One song still reminds me of that period : "Automaticamente" and its electro-beat style is the weakest song from the album. Press next to avoid a headache. You'll reach a completely different type of music. The most melodic piece of this album combined with a furious guitar riff half open the doors of their great prog years. A highlight and the best offering here. What a pleasant track! How good is it to listen to such a good "PFM" number again!

This album is of course not a masterpiece but to be honest, "PFM" is now busy for about thirty years at the time of release and I know of no bands who are producing masterpieces after such a long time. Even if songs like "Domo Dozo" and "Sono Un Dio" do not appeal to me at all some other ones are catchy "Polvere" and its sweet mood is there to remind you that the band is still capable to write emotional songs. Somewhat mellow, maybe.

The closing and instrumental is another good surprise. Great guitar again and a very powerful band to back it up is a great way to close this good album.

Three stars.

Review by poslednijat_colobar
4 stars In my opinion, Serendipity by Premiata Forneria Marconi is quite underrated album on PA! Not only, because of the low average rating, but because of the smaller number of ratings, too. Firstly, I would like to mention, that this album is important moment in Premiata Forneria Marconi's history. Here begins the returning point to progressive rock for the band. Although, not progressive as whole, it interrupts the non-progressive period for the band, that has began twenty years ago and continued for about four-five consecutive albums. The pop rock influence is still significant on this album, but I consider it's big return to form for the band; for me undisputed the best album since 1980's Sounare Sounare and probably since earlier, too!

The songs are interesting and very memorable, which is the strongest dignity about Serendipity. There aren't weak songs here and there are very much strong songs. I considered to count the stronger song, but I shall list here almost all of them. All around the album you can find so much store of energy. And finally this album is appropriate for everyday use. I can listen to it whenever I want too listen to music. It's one of the most listenable albums in my collection and one of the top 3 for 2008, in terms of number of lettings. Serendipity is worth enough to make you go to the store and buy it, especially if you are not orthodoxy progressive fan, but accept some other elements into the music. Around 3.6 - 3.7 stars for me; it goes in the lower section of the term: excellent addition to any prog music collection or 4 stars!

Latest members reviews

3 stars This album is not what a PFM fan expect from their heroes. But not all is to pull down. I think this is an album wich they can work with other modern artists, in fact only two songs are written only by PFM members, the others are all in society with other artists. The album starts quick and ro ... (read more)

Report this review (#17022) | Posted by dodaro | Tuesday, September 14, 2004 | Review Permanlink

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