Banks – The Altar

Banks - The AltarBanks carved out her own distinct sound much quicker than most on her debut album Goddess, and it’s a sound that still dominates on its predecessor The Alter, but despite the sonic similarities, contrasts differentiate the two. On The Altar, Banks is confident and empowered, finally displaying her willingness to cut the cord on the failed relationship and ignore the critics. Gemini Feed, the album’s first track, is razor-sharp electropop where she stands up to her manipulating partner, and is where the album gets its name: “And to think you would get me to the altar.” With confidence comes self-respect and trust on Fuck With Myself, where Banks admits to being her own worst critic but also your own best friend: “I fuck with myself more than anybody else.”

Banks’ signature style is quickly established but challenging to break away from, which serves as a weak point on the record. She escapes from that grasp for several songs, such as the hip-hop flavoured Trainwreck, which sounds like a record Charli XCX or Selena Gomez might attempt in an effort to be edgy, ie. it’s Banks’ best chance at a hit – and This Is Not About Us, which oddly sounds like it could have made Janet Jackson‘s last album. The Altar displays more individual standouts than Goddess but doesn’t do much to raise her pedastal beyond where she stood prior to it.

Three stars

1. The Altar
2. Fuck With Myself
3. Lovesick
4. Mind Games
5. Trainwreck
6. This Is Not About Us
7. Weaker Girl
8. Mother Earth
9. Judas
10. Haunt
11. Poltergeist
12. To The Hilt

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