George Starostin's Reviews



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Matteo Musella <> (21.01.2004)

Since some time I'm delighted with reading the pages of your splendid and opinionated web-site (I really mean this); also, I got tons of comments ab things u say and considerations u develop ab some many bands and acts, but I dont have much time to put them down and mostly to think seriously if they're worth to be written down:)) So I start w a small pointing out ab an italian band (the only one in your site: PFM), matter ab which I might have be a little more knowledge...

well, fact's not correct saying they're named after a supposed "sponsor", 'cause the name was just the one of an old bakery (not in business anymore at the time). They used to make their reharsals in these former bakery-shop rooms...that's all. Obviously u'll say..."who cares":))) wel, i know, it was just to give ya a more precise info. BUT, just to mix it w something more interesting, I suggest you to find and listen to an album: "Fabrizio DeAndre e PFM - In concerto", which in my opinion sees PFM (and DeAndre's songs) at their best.

What happens is: problem w PFM was songwriting right? well, DeAndre has been the greatest itl songwriter ever (a poet really, any itl person knowing music won't usually deny this -and look, i'm NOT a desperate fan of his...) but he lacked musical and orchestral skills...which here are provided by PFM. The result is the highest level rock-like thing Italy has ever produced...just go listen to it! of course you won't und a single word (i guess if u might be able to find some translations...if not i might be doing some for you if u get REALLY interested) but nevertheless i'm sure u'll be pleasantly surprised...if so let me know!


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Nick Pulliam <> (07.03.2006)

I got to warn any potential buyer of this album that if you buy Photos of Ghosts and ignore Per Un Amico you will miss one of the best album intros of Progressive Rock IMHO, because the harp and mellotron introduction Appena Un Po is completely removed from the English language version. This omission for me is reason enouph to prefer Per Un Amico. I dont have a big problem with PFM's Italian lyrics, I can't understand them, but they are not a hindrince to enjoyment. The english singing is O.K. too, so don't be afraid to pick this up, but I do prefer the mellotron-heavy original mix to the thinner Photos Of Ghosts mix.


b.dobben <> (23.03.2003)

I don't know how much difference there is between the English remake and the original Italian one (called L'Isola di niente),  but the title track (that would be 'Mountain' on The world became the world) contains one of the most gorgeous and pastoral moments ever created in prog (I mean the atmospheric part you mention). What do you mean the guys show us how many different instruments they can play. They all play just their own ones and it makes me curious which classical composer you mean. All prog has by definition classical influences. Some prog has free jazz influences (Area for instance, another great Italian band), but I don't hear any of those in these beautiful passages. This album certainly has not the same quality of the first and second one - but geeeee, only the atmospheric part in the opening track (and there are more on this album) justifies every penny I paid for it.


<> (10.07.2004)

Still have my vinyl version of this album but got the Live In America CD a few years ago. What can I say about tjis album -

1. 'Dove quando' - gorgeous song - don't have a clue what he's saying lyrically but just love the mood and delivery - you don't need to understand the language to know a good piece (and I'll cite John Jacques Goldman's "Quand Tu Danses" as another example)

2. I recall feeling the acoustic guitar section before "Just Look Away" seemed overlong - and over done with the echo effect. I felt the same about the violin section on Alta Loma..."

3. Simple but effective - the chopped/wah pedal guitar sound at the start of "Celebration" - I tried to mimic it loads of times but never quite get THAT particular sound

Aaahh better stop reminiscing about prog rock and get back to reality :-( But before I do - if you're into prog and haven't heard Spock's Beard then give them a listen


Keith Hart <> (22.11.2002)

After Photos of Ghosts P.F.M. are always a disappointment to me. I'm ready to root for them, in the hopes that they will find themselves suddenly among the big-boys of prog, the status they were heart-breakingly striving for. But, they miss the mark. Chocolate Kings finds them at their most assured, but also at their most diffused. There are only a couple of decent melodies that are beautifully played, but undercut by pointless pyrotechnics and a new singer that can't hit the target of pitch, or phrasing, and most distressingly, of key. He has power (when he isn't wilting as he is on the final cut) and unusual tone - but drops the melody and the dynamic everytime. He's got the upper range nailed effectively with his Chapmanesque bleat - but can't get a good attack off the top of a phrase. It disappoints. Great musicians - really dynamic drumming, moments of beauty and fury - but empty, and unfocussed. I have great forboding at the prospect of Jet Lag.


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