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Premiata Forneria Marconi (PFM) - Serendipity CD (album) cover


Premiata Forneria Marconi (PFM)


Rock Progressivo Italiano

3.01 | 115 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
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.

Fishy | 3/5 |


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