Banks has done incredibly well to maintain herself in her music. The production of her debut record is so first rate that her various producers could have quite simply made her a featuring artist, as so many of her fellow ‘singer-songwriters’ have found themselves, forever wasting their voices in vain so that producers can propel themselves further into trap house mediocrity, mentioning no names. Perhaps its the fact that Banks utilises so many different names to produce her music, Totally Enormous Extinct Dinosaurs, man of the moment Sohn, even Jamie Woon weighs in, that she maintains her own focus.
Opener ‘Alibi’ is the only song not written by Banks herself, but it’s with ‘Waiting Game’, that this album really takes off. It is quite simply incredible, arguably the song that got her where she is today.
‘This is what I feels like’, has the filthiest, frog croaking synth of an intro and technically proficient vocals on the record. She keeps her lyrics minimal, and emotive, “If I told you solitude fits me like a glove,” allowing her own instrument to shine through, never being dwarfed, even in the face of all that bass.
Offering a moments rest bite from the electronic production, ‘You Should Know Where I’m Coming From’ is a piano ballad to rival any of Adele’s chart toppers. It sounds like it takes less effort too. ‘Drowning’ is a perfect mix of XXYYXX pitch manipulation and Lana Del Ray porno tonality, hardly surprising considering producer Al Shux has also worked with the Ultraviolence artist. A thoroughly depressing take on the old fallen for you analogy.
Some feminist undertones can certainly be heard, latest single, ‘Begging for Thread’, could easily be an early 2000s girl power pop song, if it weren’t for the menacing production; whilst ‘Brain’ offers a tortured commentary on male culture. Our first guitar of the album appears on the tender, ‘Someone New’, but it’s at this point I began to question whether I was simply listening to the ramblings of a 26 year old woman with the obsessive mind set of one direction fan who’s just got their first period.
I really hope it was just the one guy who fucked Banks over, and not one for each of the fourteen, let alone seventeen tracks that make the deluxe version of this record. The formula does get a little drawn out, the first 10 tracks alone would have made a stronger album. However Goddess as a title seems very apt, although intriguingly the song itself is the only written in the third person.
Nonetheless, Banks comes across as mysterious, ethereal and alluringly powerful, and judging by her lyrics, exactly how she struggles to see herself. Unworshipable. “I’ve got a problem” she claims in album finale ‘Under The Table’.