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Premiata Forneria Marconi (PFM) - Cook [Aka: Live in the USA] CD (album) cover


Premiata Forneria Marconi (PFM)


Rock Progressivo Italiano

4.12 | 216 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
3 stars Recorded on the band's American tour, Cook finds PFM getting a warm welcome thanks in part to the greater prominence they gained in the English-speaking world as a result of their releases via ELP's Manticore label. This has plus sides and downsides; the vocals are predominantly in English (save for Dove... Quando..., due to that not having been translated for any of their English releases), and unfortunately to my ears seem a little weak (a common pitfall when singers try to perform in a second language they aren't entirely comfortable in).

That said, maybe the issue isn't with the vocal performances so much as it's with the mix - the vocals are a little overwhelmed at points, and Flavio Premoli's keyboards are given a lot of prominence. The band seem to be leaning into the ELP association here, presenting the material in a somewhat more brash manner than on their studio albums and with the keyboards of Premoli and Franz Di Cioccio's frantic drumming given a lot of prominence, and there's hints of the more jazz-oriented direction they'd evolve in after this.

With the recording quality being serviceable but not stellar, I'm left feeling that PFM weren't especially well-served by this live release; it comes across as being hastily recorded and knocked out in a hurry (and the artwork doesn't exactly contradict that impression). The raw ingredients here are good, but deserved perhaps a more pristine presentation than it gets.

Warthur | 3/5 |


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