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Premiata Forneria Marconi (PFM) - Miss Baker CD (album) cover


Premiata Forneria Marconi (PFM)


Rock Progressivo Italiano

1.93 | 97 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
2 stars Like most other seventies' progressive rock bands, Premiata Forneria Marconi gave their distinct sound a massive overhaul once the eighties' approached. Miss Baker shows the legendary Italian proggers at the peak of their pop-oriented era; this album bears almost no resemblance to albums like Storia Di Un Minuto or Per Un Amico. Although you won't find any dynamic symphonic prog here, Miss Baker is pretty decent as far as eighties' pop/prog is concerned - this is substantially better than what Yes and Genesis were doing around this time period. Miss Baker doesn't contain anything too special or memorable, but there are enough decent moments here for me to consider this a step above the atrocity that many others make it out to be.

Musically, Miss Baker may come as a bit of a shock to those only acquainted with PFM's early seventies' efforts. Gone is pastoral and bombastic progressive rock, and in its place is sleek, commercial, and funky pop/prog. There's actually a pretty strong jazz/funk influence in the music, and that's especially heard in "Colazione a Disneyland" (my personal favorite on the album). Not all of the songs are all that memorable, but there are some good melodic hooks throughout the album, as well as some progressive sections to keep the more open-minded prog audience entertained. The songwriting, while still very competent, strikes me as pretty formulaic and uninspired, and that's ultimately my biggest issue with Miss Baker. Premiata Forneria Marconi are still a tight-playing, professional group of musicians, but the sheer emotion that made their early albums so great is almost entirely absent. The flat eighties' production definitely doesn't help the album sound any more inspired, either.

With all of that said, Miss Baker is still a fairly good effort from Premiata Forneria Marconi. It's far from a great album, but there are enough decent tunes and progressive overtones to prevent me from considering this to be a complete artistic failure. Although this is entirely unessential within PFM's fantastic discography, I must give credit where credit is due and rate Miss Baker with 2.5 stars. I personally have quite a few gripes with this release, but the quality is still respectable enough for me to passively recommend this to fans of eighties' pop/prog. Just keep in mind, however, that there are still many more albums within the pop/prog spectrum that are far more essential than this one.

J-Man | 2/5 |


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