Sunday, December 14, 2014

Premiata Forneria Marconi - 1974 - L'Isola Di Niente

Premiata Forneria Marconi
L'Isola Di Niente

01. L'Isola di Niente (10:42)
02. Is My Face On Straight (6:38)
03. La Luna Nuova (6:21)
04. Dolcissima Maria (4:01)
05. Via Lumiere (7:21)

- Franz Di Cioccio / drums, percussion, vocals
- Jan Patrick Djivas / bass, vocals
- Franco Mussida / guitars, lead vocals
- Mauro Pagani / violin, flute, vocals
- Flavio Premoli / keyboards, lead vocals

 Not in the level of "Per un Amico" or "Storia di un Minuto" but any early release by PFM is always good enough, incredible arrangements, impeccable vocals in Italian by Franco Mussida (in the language that were meant to be listened) and a band that has nothing to envy from the classic British monsters.

Much more calmed than the previous releases may be a bit boring for those who are not used to Italian Symphonic, but interesting for the ones that already love the special lyricism of Premiata Fornería Marconi

The incredible introduction of the title song "La Isola di Niente" (Nobody's Island) is reason enough to pay for this good album, the contrast between the chorale intro and the hard instrumentation is reminiscent of King Crimson but with a symphonic edge typical from the Italian progressive, a very complex epic that may be arid for people who don't understand Italian.

"Is My Face On Straight" is the second track and only one in English with lyrics by Pete Sinfield, sarcastic song that mentions themes as racism and elitism, very complex music with touches of Jazz, the problem is that the changes are too radical, loosing any logical sequence. Honestly a bit weird for my taste.

"La Luna Nuova" (The New Moon), starts as an hymn with a very beautiful keyboard section that goes in crescendo meanwhile flute and percussion join with some jazzy feeling, when the listener thinks the track has reached a calm point, everything starts again, a song that's always in advance as if chasing something that never completely reaches. The violin at the middle gives a special delicate taste and again the hymn and the chase start all over. One of my favorite songs in this album.

"Dolcissima Maria" (Sweetest Mary): I'm not a person that likes ballads, but in this case I make an exception, seems soft, calm and simple but it's extreme beauty and placidity has something that always makes me feel the world is Ok. The sweet flute and soft percussion section is one of the highest points of the whole the album. Still I'm not sure if the lyrics have religious connotations related with the Holy Virgin, because the text is so ambiguous that can work as a prayer or a pure love song.

The album ends with the Instrumental "La Via Lumiere" (Lumiere Street), the first question that comes to my mind when I listen this track is Who let Mahavishnu in? If I didn't knew Premoli is the keyboardist, could swear Ian Hammer took his place, around the middle of the song PFM retakes the classic Italian sound to prepare the ending that gently fades in the typical symphonic mood.

Great album but not recommended for newbies, maybe a bit boring for not prepared ears, if you're not a fan go for "Storia di un Minuto", "Per Un Amico" or even "Photos of Ghosts" I'm sure after listening those you'll enjoy La Isola di Niente much more.


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