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Tony Banks - 5 CD (album) cover

5

Tony Banks

 

Crossover Prog

3.86 | 148 ratings

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proghaven
4 stars Along with Emerson, Fripp and Wakeman, Banks was one of the protagonists of progressive rock since its birth. Moreover, thanks mostly to Banks prog became prog as we know and perceive it. It's a great news that now, after half a century since Genesis was founded, their keyboardist and musical leader is still active, though he's no longer a progster and moved into the area of symphonic/orchestral music (ce qu'on appelle 'neo-classical', right? I often confuse terms, sorry, too much of them to be learnt while too low content in any of them). His new solo album is of no doubt classical enough, symphonic enough, orchestral enough... et cetera. The only reason for regrets is that Five is not Banksian enough. It's something between Sibelius and Charlie Chaplin's movie soundtracks. The first and only business for a musician/composer is to build relationships between musical sounds (if anyone wants to dispute this, I'm all ears). Banks became worldwide known in 1970s due to his capacity to discover and construct brand new relationships between sounds, sometimes so revolutionary and unevident that maybe even Beethoven or Ciurlionis could faintly imagine. Just remember Firth Of Fifth, After The Ordeal, Cinema Show, Can-Utility And The Coastliners, Timetable, Mad Man Moon, Robbery, Assault And Battery (instrumental passage), All In A Mouse's Night, One For The Vine... Perhaps Banks reached his creative peak with And Then There Were Three (Burning Rope), A Curious Feeling (most of the tracks but especially After The Lie and The Waters Of Lethe) and of course Duke (Heathaze and Cul-De-Sac are beyond top I'd say). After that, probably having had enough of prog, Banks switched to more rocky/poppy matters, but returned to so-called serious music in 2000s as an orchestral composer. And what he currently does with orchestra is more than interesting, but surely something important is forever left behind for him. It would be difficult to discuss every track on Five because there's nothing to be said about a given track that couldn't be said about any other one. All are refined, all are flowing, lulling, more or less uniform and quite traditional. For Sibelius or Sviridov, such an album could become a highlight of creative life. For Banks, it's very good, no more than that. An undoubted asset to symphonic music but not to Banks. Yes the music of this album is beautiful. But 1979 will never be back.
proghaven | 4/5 |

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