BANKS // III – ALBUM REVIEW

BANKS the genre-blending singer-songwriter returns with her third LP aptly titled III. The record was produced by BANKS herself and BJ Burton, who worked with such artists as Bon Iver and Francis and The Lights (who is featured in a track on this record). III is a highly emotional record for not only BANKS herself but the listener. Every ounce of emotion pouring from BANKS is felt and heard through lyrics, sound and subtle nuance. Most of these emotions are not often comfortable but BANKS growth as an artist and more importantly as a woman are evident. On “Till Now” which slowly builds into a thundering war cry and is the perfect album opener. BANKS lets the listener know she’s here and has so much to say. Amongst the lush production and arrangement, BANKS is heard loud and clear. The lead single “Gimme” is a female empowerment anthem about calling the shots in life, but in your relationships and in the bedroom as well. This is not the same woman we first heard in 2014’s Goddess, LP or even the one of 2016’s The Altar. BANKS is realizing her power not only in life but on this record as well. Tracks like “Contaminated” and “Godless” have so much raw and uncomfortable real painful emotion it can be difficult to listen to. You’re right along with her… you feel her. III is a raw and honest record on the imbalance in the give and takes in toxic relationships. Just when you thought BANKS couldn’t get any more aggressive she flips the script on “Stroke.” A song that’s full of angst and her unique style of cheeky wordplay, only this time it has been elevated. The grungy manipulated sounds and vocals only add texture to this song. The underlying tie to all of the songs is the R&B genre its where BANKS finds home and where she flourishes best particularly on the soft melodic tracks such as “Hawaiian Mazes” which is a beautiful slow burn. The ending track “What About Love.” It features sweet notes from her four-year-old niece saying “I Love You” and a great reminder that we should always lean on love.

Listen to BANKS/IIIHERE

Until then,
Brittney x

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One thought

  1. While I think The Altar is a slightly stronger, more cohesive, and more instantly fulfilling album, I’ve found III to be a confident lateral move into a nuanced sound. To me, the vocal manipulation in particular seems to complement her master-class control of her own texture and tone.

    Contaminated and Godless are surely toward the top of career bests for her, and that thick thump of Alaska has no business being that great. And there is something so special about “If We Were Made of Water” — it’s delicate and soothing, with a certain feeling of finality.

    Like

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