It’s safe to say that most of us who hear the music of BANKS are fans. Her music has always walked between dark electronic pop and R&B, and that’s okay. On her new album III she goes further in to R&B and pop and leaves the electronica behind. While the songwriting is on point and the songs that are meant to be bangers pop with intensity, some of the production choices made the album a toss up for us.
For starters, the songs that are meant to hit do just that. “Gimme” has all of the R&B lead pop lustre you’d expect, “Look What You’re Doing To Me” goes hard and never lets up and “Contaminated” brings that slow paced hitter vibe that BANKS has employed to perfection in the past. But while tracks like “Godless” have pop touches throughout the slow buildup, the beats of “Alaska” hold your ears and keep you listening, the bulk of the album has too much vocal treatment to unhear. It’s so painfully overproduced in moments that songs that should sparkle fall flat while others that should be rife with emotion come off as fake and trite. The opener “Till Now” should excite you, but the vocal trickery begins the feeling that you’re getting more production than actual singing. If it was just that track, then it’s no problem. But “Stroke,” “The Fall” and “If We Were Made of Water” makes you wonder how much of these songs are BANKS and not just computers. It’s a shame, because it deters from the artistry that BANKS brings to her music, and the record isn’t terrible by any stretch either. Maybe we just want to hear her voice and not what some producer thinks we want to hear.
III can be streamed on all streaming sites, it can be purchased in all digital music stores and it can be purchased on multiple formats directly from Harvest Records. BANKS is on tour starting September 03 in Toronto, Canada at Rebel until November 21 in Paris, France at Le Trianon. Her complete tour schedule can be accessed here.
Image Credits: Photo Courtesy of Harvest Records.