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Premiata Forneria Marconi (PFM) - A.D. 2010 - La Buona Novella CD (album) cover


Premiata Forneria Marconi (PFM)


Rock Progressivo Italiano

3.48 | 117 ratings

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Symphonic Prog Specialist
5 stars Strong candidate for the best album of 2010

A few months ago I found about the release of "2010 AD - La Buona Novella", a Prog Opera by PFM based in the conceptual album composed by Fabrizio de Andre in 1970 and performed by him and PFM. "La Buona Novella" a musical version of an apocryphal Gospel which confers the same importance to the divine and human nature of Christ, reason why it was not well received in a Catholic country as Italy.

In 2010, Premiata Forneri­a Marconi hasn't only resurrected the album to play a cover or a remake, but to create a a new release, modifying all the arrangements and adding complete songs plus new sections to the tracks, for this reason is a new album completely different to the original.

As we know, PFM had to face two problems, the legendary keyboardist "Flavio Premoli" had to leave the band due to health reasons that go back to 2005, but his place is covered by "Gianluca Tagliavini" (who has been playing with the band since 2006), and does an excellent job.

The second problem I find relies in the vocals, "Franz di Cioccio" takes the lead and strangely not "Franco Mussida" (who was the lead vocalist in songs as Dulcisima Maria) sings too much, so being that Franz range is very raspy, becomes an acquired taste, but after a few minutes the listener gets used being that "Di Cioccio" puts the soul in all his performances.

"2010 AD" begins with "Universo e Terra" (Universe and Earth), a very elaborate prelude written by PFM not only to introduce the listener into the concept, but also to recreate the sound of 1970 (The Hammond organ is delightful), with Franco Mussida making an amazing work in the guitars.

"L'infanzia di Maria" (The Childhood of Mary) is an incredibly beautiful song where "Lucio Fabbri gives a delicate violin performance that blends perfectly with the nostalgic lyrics sung by "Di Cioccio", a strong beginning with an extra section added by PFM called "La Tentazioni" (The Temptation),

"Il Ritorno di Giuseppe" (Joseph's Return) is much more dramatic than the previous song, even when they don't loose their fascination for a strong melody, again PFM adds a new section called "Il Respiro del Deserto (The Breath of the Desert) to the already excellent original work.

"Il Sogno di Maria" (Mary's Dream) surprised me, because I expected a more oneiric and dreamy song, but instead the band presents a folksy tune based in "Di Cioccio's" vocals plus the acoustic guitars by "Mussida" and apparently "Fabbri".

"Ave Maria" is a chance for "Franco Mussida" to demonstrate his skills with the electric guitar, well supported by "Di Cioccio" and Patrick Djivas" in the drums and bass. Again PFM gives priority to the melody rather than to complexity, but this doesn't affect the Prog nature of the album and track. PFM adds a new section called "Aria per Maria" (Aria for Mary).

"Maria Nella Bottega di un Falegname" (Mary in a Carpenter's Workshop) is simply fantastic, the instrumental sections with flute, violin percussion and synthesizers are simply breathtaking, the most elaborate track of the album at this point. Again "Mussida, Djivas and Di Cioccio" ad a new section to "De Andre's" work called "Rumori di Bottega" (Rumours from a Workshop).

"Via de la Croce" (The Route of the Cross) starts with a narration supposedly made by Pontius Pilate and when the singing section starts seems that at last "Franco Mussida" has taken the lead vocals (not sure though) and of course we can expect an absolutely dramatic song due to the nature of the lyrics. Again PFM added a new section called " Scintille di Pena" (Sparks of Sadness).

"Tre Madri" (Three Mothers) is a very sad song that reflects the pain of the mother of a crucified son, the arrangements are just perfect mixing Blues based Rock with some Classical and Italian ethnic influences, the touch of the crying violin by "Fabbri" are heartbreaking. As usual PFM added a new section called "Canto delle Madri" (Chant of the Mother), amazingly beautiful and radical changes around the fourth minute with a killer drumming and violin.

"Il Testamento di Tito" (Tito's Testament) is the most respectful tribute to Fabrizio de Andre, retaking his "troubadouresque" vocal style blended with an impressive keyboard performance, a musical time travel to 1970.

"Laudate Hominem" (Praise to the Man) is a song that Fabrizio de Andre made from his perspective of Christ as the first revolutionary, to honour his human essence. PFM decided to close the album with an incredibly complex and elaborate song and added a new section called "Oda all'Uomo" (Ode to the Man) with specially radical arrangements.

After reading the previous reviews I can't do anything else but respectfully disagree with them, in my opinion 2010 AD - La Buona Novella (Opera apocrifa da La Buona Novella di Fabrizio De AndreĻ) " is a perfect masterpiece, well composed and with even better arrangements than the original album by "Fabrizio", I would be dishonest with myself if I didn't rated this magnificent album with less than five solid stars.

Ivan_Melgar_M | 5/5 |


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