Album Review of Goddess by Banks
Banks is big right? Well she is big news that’s for sure. You would struggle to find somebody saying anything negative (or even constructive over the last year or so). Sometimes these crescendos are created purely by hype, however, based on the two previous EP releases from Banks then the plaudits are duly deserved.
Now its the big time though and Banks’ first step in to the proper mainstream market. The launch of the debut album Goddess from Banks is bold. Using such a title kind of sets her up to deliver something epic.
Going back to her EPs for a second, they were strong. A moody tone to her tracks, with good beats and a decent electronic RnB flavour which complemented her vocals. I think its wrong to categorise Banks as RnB though, she is first and foremost a good singer with good production behind her.
Goddess demonstrates that Banks isn’t without her modern US influences. She openly admits to following closely and looking up to the likes of Rihanna and Frank Ocean. However, the electronic sound and vocal delivery also makes her much more current to a UK audience. She has definite glimpses in to the context that is delivering for UK musicians both here and over the Atlantic.
In terms of the album content, I can’t help but think that something has happened at the label. Whether or not the album was rushed out or not is questionable. But to include three tracks from her previous, London, EP suggests trying to fill 14 spaces on an album. The fact that several of the tracks have also been released as singles, leaves you feeling a bit disappointed. Not at the quality, just at the sense that there isn’t really anything new here. That is particularly criminal given that Banks has been built up on buzz and the feeling that we have an innovative artist here.
There are some tracks on the album that do feel a bit out-of-kilter with Banks and her previous body of music. Warm Water in particular has quite a weak title and the track lives up to the weakness. The music is a bit twee and the track barely gets above tepid let alone reaching the heights of warm.
That being said, if you are new to Banks, or if you haven’t heard her previous body of work, this is a must have. In the main, the strong production matched with the elegance and subtlety of vocals from Banks, provides a great listen. This is epitomised by Someone New, where the quality of Banks’ vocal shines through.
In short, if you are new to Banks, get this album and get it now. You will love the RnB flavour with the subtle British hints and feast upon the quality of vocals from Banks, an undoubted prospect for the future. If you have any of Banks previous body of work, Goddess is probably not for you.