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Premiata Forneria Marconi (PFM)

Rock Progressivo Italiano

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Premiata Forneria Marconi (PFM) Emotional Tattoos album cover
2.88 | 106 ratings | 4 reviews | 12% 5 stars

Good, but non-essential

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Studio Album, released in 2017

Songs / Tracks Listing

CD 1 - English
1. We're Not an Island (7:12)
2. Morning Freedom (6:06)
3. The Lesson (5:08)
4. So Long (5:56)
5. A Day We Share (6:03)
6. There's a Fire in Me (4:55)
7. Central District (5:27)
8. Freedom Square (4:47)
9. I'm Just a Sound (5:57)
10. Hannah (5:16)
11. It's My Road (5:07)

Total Time 61:54

CD 2 - Italiano
1. Il Regno (7:12)
2. Oniro (6:06)
3. La lezione (5:08)
4. Mayday (5:56)
5. La danza degli specchi (6:03)
6. Il cielo che c' (4:55)
7. Quartiere generale (5:27)
8. Freedom Square (4:47)
9. Dalla Terra alla Luna (5:57)
10. Le cose belle (5:16)
11. Big Bang (5:07)

Total Time 61:54

Line-up / Musicians

- Franz Di Cioccio / lead vocals, drums, arrangements
- Marco Sfogli / guitar, arrangements
- Alessandro Scaglione / keyboards, piano, orchestration (1)
- Alberto Bravin / keyboards, backing vocals
- Lucio Fabbri / violin, viola
- Patrick Djivas / bass, keyboards, arrangements
- Roberto Gualdi / percussion

- Stefano Bollani / piano (11)

Releases information

Artwork: Stefano Bonora with Acrostella

CD Inside Out Music ‎- IOMCD 490 (2017, Italy) Italian lyrics version
2CD Inside Out Music ‎- IOMSECD 490 (2017, Europe) Italian plus English lyrics versions
CD+2LP Inside Out Music ‎- IOMCD 490 IT (2017, Italy) Italian lyrics version on both media

2LP+2CD Inside Out Music ‎- IOMLP 490 (2017, Europe) Italian version on CD, English on both media

Thanks to mbzr48 for the addition
and to projeKct for the last updates
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PREMIATA FORNERIA MARCONI (PFM) Emotional Tattoos ratings distribution

(106 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(12%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(21%)
Good, but non-essential (35%)
Collectors/fans only (27%)
Poor. Only for completionists (5%)

PREMIATA FORNERIA MARCONI (PFM) Emotional Tattoos reviews

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

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Aussie-Byrd-Brother
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars Legendary Italian proggers Premiata Forneria Marconi (P.F.M) need little introduction, the symphonic band delivering three of the defining RPI LP's back in the early Seventies, and then achieving a commercial momentum once they began offering albums exclusively performed in English in the middle of that decade. Decades of line-up shuffles and musical style changes have been part of the band's history ever since, but this latest version is now led by founding member/drummer Franz Di Cioccio, who also takes on the lead vocals due to the departure of guitarist and fellow founder Franco Mussida a couple of years back, with the rest of the band being comprised of a mix of long-time serving PFM members and newer musicians.

2017's `Emotional Tattoos', the first album for PFM since signing to worldwide prog distribution specialists InsideOut Music, is an equally reliable and inconsistent listen, despite having plenty that can be praised about it. The musicianship, especially Marco Sfogli's guitars, Patrick Djivas' nicely fat upfront bass and Di Cioccio's busy driving drumming are never short of superb, and the latter's voice is confident. However, despite a few exceptions, the prog-rock sophistication of old has been replaced by a collection of melodic yet dignified mid-tempo AOR vocal rockers with little traces of proggy soloing mostly only worked into little thirty-odd second bursts here and there. That's not to say that this is a bad album in any way, just that it's really not what the majority of their fans would have been looking forward to from a new PFM work (although offering both an English version and Italian version is appreciated!), and it's especially disappointing when you consider that their last few studio works, `Stati di Immaginzione' from 2006 and 2010's `AD 2010: La Buona Novella', were superb and full of progressive rock majesty.

Looking at some of what's on offer (and the Italian version should be the preferred edition, which is the one discussed here), opener `Il Regno' evolves out of its weary dreaminess into tough whirring keyboards, heaving guitars and Franz's raspy croon. Lovely murmuring bass from Patrick, Lucio Fabbri's elegant violin licking at the edges and Alessandro Scaglione's zippy keyboarding soloing throughout `Oniro' are the first hint of the classic PFM sound, and sleek darker rocker ` La lezione' pulses with a tougher danger with its strident drums and frequently reprising twisting guitar runs.

`Mayday' is a fairly dull moody rocker lifted by fleeting tense themes, but `La danza degli specchi' is a big improvement. While some of the groovier funky spots try a little desperately to be cool, it sure jumps around in endless different directions and tempo changes in only six minutes, and there's traces of those chiming guitars, vocal flamboyance and racing darting synth runs of the PFM of old scattered throughout! `Il cielo che c'' is a classy ballad that's easy to enjoy, and `Quartiere generale' is a catchy pop-rocker lifted by fancy reprising violin themes.

The greatest moment of the disc arrives with `Freedom Square', a folk-flecked instrumental loaded with all the spirited acoustic guitars, twirling violin jigs and keyboard driven fanfare pomp that fans forever associate with the classic PFM sound - what a shame that it's one of the shortest pieces on the album at only four and a half minutes! The busy `Dalla Terra alla Luna' grafts an easily melodic tune to heavy crashing bluster with plenty of humming Hammond organ, keyboard wig-outs and rambunctious drumming, `Le Cose Belle' is a sweet romantic ballad with tasteful playing, and closer `Big Bang' is simply another reliably enjoyable tune elevated by sparkling piano, crisp guitar and fluid bass runs (the final minute is truly sublime, and another example of `what could have been' if the album had been made up of more winning moments like this).

It's not surprising to see PFM playing in a mostly fairly straightforward rock manner here, like so many older acts do. But it's a shame when other renowned vintage Italian bands such as Metamorfosi, Cherry Five and Maxophone have all delivered extravagant and ambitious recent works of great vitality, and in comparison there's very little to associate `Emotional Tattoos' with the symphonic rockers of legend that are PFM. Sadly, the album is also overlong at 62 minutes (does InsideOut Music put demands on all the artists that sign for them that the music must have enough material to cover a double vinyl release?) when a nice 45 or so minute single-LP length, with a couple of more overtly `proggy' or symphonic pieces would have made this a much more approachable affair to be replayed more often. Still, it's nice that the band are still active, but perhaps PFM should look to their own past next time for future inspiration on where to take the band in this modern era.

Three stars.

Latest members reviews

1 stars This is the worst record PFM has put out in their entire career. Electronic, autotuned and un-imagintative. The only song I can enjoy is freedom square. The drums sound like garbage, I dont know how they managed to make that samples sound that bad in 2017. The keyboards sound like crap too, If I ... (read more)

Report this review (#1914221) | Posted by peblo | Friday, April 13, 2018 | Review Permanlink

1 stars PFM? PFM?! No not PFM! Far from PFM. The world monitors their activity for almost half a century and knows very well that there's PFM where and when there's Franco Mussida. No Mussida means no PFM. Mussida was their creative driving force for their best decades and wrote most of their best music ... (read more)

Report this review (#1817761) | Posted by proghaven | Tuesday, October 31, 2017 | Review Permanlink

4 stars Since there hasn't been any review of PFM's latest record, I might well just start with my very first review. I have been a huge fan of PFM ever since I listened to 1972's Per un amico about one and a half years ago. I wasn't only wonderful 34 minutes spent, but also my entry to the world of RPI. ... (read more)

Report this review (#1817277) | Posted by Phipz-97 | Sunday, October 29, 2017 | Review Permanlink

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