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Premiata Forneria Marconi (PFM) - Chocolate Kings CD (album) cover


Premiata Forneria Marconi (PFM)


Rock Progressivo Italiano

3.94 | 457 ratings

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Moogtron III
Prog Reviewer
4 stars "Chocolate Kings" may not be PFM's finest album, but there are some very good songs on it: Harlequin and Out On The Roundabout show that PFM still were going strong after high quality albums like "Per Un Amico" and "L'Isola Di Niente".

Still, PFM were over their peak. Some influences are a bit too clear (Genesis and Caravan come to mind), and although PFM proved themselves to be real musical chameleons (they already learned a lot from bands like King Crimson and Yes), "Chocolate Kings" will not go down in history as the album with the highest originality factor.

Also, their lead singer Bernardo Lanzetti, who was new to the band, was not the best lyricist, and his voice is a so Gabriel - like that it tends to be a bit irritating from time to time. He tends to bit a bit vulgar (e.g. "From Under", "Chocolate Kings", which doesn't help either. The ugly sleeve is also a downer.

Somehow, it seems as if PFM was striving very hard to be heard on an international level, and that they didn't really know how to achieve that. Their chameleon-like musicianship sounds a bit restless, from time to time.

So why did I give the album 4 stars after all? That's because when PFM shine, they really shine. They still were one of the best bands in the world in the '70's, and on Chocolate Kings they really made some compelling music. However unoriginal their Hammond organ sound was, they knew how to use it. The guitar playing is beautiful, the violin playing is superb, and even lead singer Bernardo Lanzetti does strike a chord from time to time. And they were a very professional, fast rocking band, as well as a well-accomplished pastoral band. The music sounds very natural; the tempo changes also.

So, a mix of brilliance and professionality on the one side, and unoriginality and even a bit of vulgarity on the other side. But the positive aspects are much more weighing through than the negative aspects. Four stars, because taking all aspects into consideration, Chocolate Kings still is a powerful album, even sensational some times.

Moogtron III | 4/5 |


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