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Premiata Forneria Marconi (PFM) - Stati Di Immaginazione CD (album) cover


Premiata Forneria Marconi (PFM)


Rock Progressivo Italiano

4.10 | 388 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
3 stars Even a casual Prog connoisseur (if such an animal actually exists) should know how often PFM has changed its musical wardrobe over the band's ongoing career, from Symphonic Rock finery to Jazz Fusion trappings, and from World Music flirtations to local Italian Pop, and beyond. But this year 2006 album doesn't quite fit anywhere along the same colorful graph, and that fact alone is reason enough to recommend it.

The "eight musical stories" collected here are entirely (and atypically) instrumental. And the focus on music alone makes the album a richer experience than usual for PFM. The band, for once, was thinking visually instead of lyrically, performing in a style unrelated to this, that, or any other influence. It's all just music, purely and simply illustrating eight separate "states of free imagination", quoting the album's sub-title: a reflection of what ought to be the bedrock for all Progressive Rock.

The surviving trio of Di Cioccio, Djivas and Mussida gave themselves ample room to display their chops during these sessions, in the polite but still vital manner of veteran rockers aging more gracefully than expected. And the guest players (old friend Lucio Fabbri on violin, and youngster Gianluca Tagliavini, aping the jazzier mini-moog runs of the truant Flavio Premoli) helped fill out the sound in classic manner, echoing some of the band's better work from the 1970's. The lively middle section of the album closer "Visioni di Archimede", in particular, is an effective blast from the Marconi Bakery past.

But the music lacks the youthful passion of the band's earliest efforts, hardly surprising after nearly half a century in the business. Even at its heaviest, in tracks like "Cyber Alpha", the playing is unfailingly polite, never venturing too far onto any precarious aesthetic limbs. To its credit there isn't a hint of anachronism anywhere on the album, but after repeated exposure little of it sticks to memory the way their quintessential '70s stuff still does.

Of course it isn't really fair to measure the album against the yardsticks of "Per un Amico" or "L'Isola di Niente". On the other hand, comparisons to some of the band's more lackluster later efforts might have inflated the prevailing opinion of this one. But even allowing for diminished expectations it remains the strongest PFM studio album in years.

Neu!mann | 3/5 |


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