My first introduction to Jillian Rose Banks, known as Banks was her track “This Is What It Feels Like” released sometime in 2013. I quickly became addicted to the somber track and Bank’s slightly smoky voice mixed with this slow R&B type beat still sounds fresh on her debut album “Goddess”.
“Goddess” was released September 5, 2014 with many reviewers praising Bank’s artistic choices. After a few spins I’m ready to give my opinion on this album.
Banks gets a lot of comparisons to “The Weeknd” when it comes to musical style, and lyrics but one comparison people miss are how difficult it can be to get through their albums. Since Banks tend to stick to this gloomy tone throughout “Goddess”, the songs can start to sound the same if you aren’t really focused on what Banks is singing.
When Alibi starts off I feel completely immersed in Banks world and each track brings me deeper into all of her emotions but after track nine, I start to lose interest. Maybe it’s because I’ve played some songs to death due to their early release or their placement on Banks previous EPs but when I listen to albums I like to hear new material.
Tracks like Change, Someone New and Warm Water are great tracks but I don’t see myself coming back to them. I feel like Banks hits her sweet spot when she’s singing on tracks that have an abstract beat like the track “Fuck Em Only We Know” (Obsessed with this track). The melodic chorus makes me want to put the track on loop and the lyrics…
I’d run away, I’d run away with you, would you run with me?
Our life could be a little bumpy but I’d hold on
Just wanna tell you that I see you, baby, do you see me?
Cause this is special, baby
Fuck em only we know
At the end of “Goddess” I feel like Banks has a complete debut album. I understand adding the EP tracks so newcomers will be able to hear everything Banks has to offer but listeners who have known Banks for a while may want to skip those tracks when playing through the album. Banks is a part of a wave of artists (Lorde, Charli XCX, Sam Smith, FKA Twigs) who are moving the music industry away from the formulaic “make hits, get rich” plan and really putting themselves into their music and people are buying that.
Standout Tracks: This Is What It Feels Like, Fuck Em Only We Know, Brain, Someone New, Waiting Game
What do you think of Banks debut “Goddess”? Tell me in the comments below!