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Banks - III (Album Review)

Friday, 19 July 2019 Written by Milly McMahon

‘III’, Banks’ appropriately titled third album, has been a short while in the making but feels like the culmination of the songwriter’s more ambitious work to this point. Five years since the release of her debut LP 'Goddess' the LA artist has shifted direction within her sound, infusing her synth-heavy trip-pop aesthetic with a jaded sense of heartbreak, maturity and raw passion.

On the standout track Gimme, the textured beats and instrumental crafted alongside co-producer Hudson Mohawke enhance Banks' vocals, with an early Justin Timberlake vibe moving through the music. Profoundly affecting, this collaboration feels like Banks achieving her full potential.

Stroke is another dramatic production that engages the listener from the first chord. Juxtaposing the light innocence of Banks' tones with doom-inducing bass and backing beats, illuminating this often ethereal artist with darker moods works effortlessly well. 

Having recently played support to the Weeknd on tour, there are also flecks of the illicit, charged atmospheres Abel Tesfaye conjures present throughout ‘III’.

As a result, several occasional switches back to the weaker tempos of previous albums past, on tracks Look What You're Doing To Me, feat. Frankie and the Lights, and Sawzall, feel jarring.

Potentially including the familiar aesthetic of her previous LPs for fans of the music, ‘III’ would have benefited from a sharper edit. As it is the record is front-loaded with the bolder, more experimental music that has allowed Banks to establish herself as an accomplished, diverse artist with a progressive streak.

Banks Upcoming Tour Dates are as follows:

Fri November 01 2019 - MANCHESTER O2 Ritz
Sat November 02 2019 - GLASGOW SWG3
Mon November 04 2019 - LONDON Roundhouse

Click here to compare & buy Banks Tickets at Stereoboard.com.

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