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Tony Banks - Soundtracks CD (album) cover

SOUNDTRACKS

Tony Banks

 

Crossover Prog

2.71 | 38 ratings

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Moogtron III
3 stars What do you do when you earn your living with music, and you have, to a certain extent, progressive tastes, but the winds of time make it happen that making more or less progressive albums is like blowing against the wind? Some musicians have found some satisfaction in writing soundtracks. There they have more musical freedom than on a 'normal' album, and they can reap some financial rewards at the same time.

This album shows that Banks is good in writing soundtracks. The albums contains music for two movies: Quicksilver (the most recent) and Lorca And The Outlaws (the oldest of the two). If you think that soundtracks are boring: not so with Banks' soundtracks. Consider them as songs without words, though with a progressive twist. Sure enough, there are some songs with vocals on the album as well, but the biggest part of the album is instrumental.

Banks has interesting themes, interesting chords, and his synths and the production are state of the art. The sound of the album is very good. Maybe still a bit mechanical sounding for some, but definitely warmer than on "The Fugitive". Actually, I think that quite some prog / Genesis fans, who are being put off by most other albums Banks made after A Curious Feeling, might find some of their liking on this album. The reason is simple: the album is much more free form, and leaves more room for creativity beyond the three minutes pop song.

The music of Quicksilver is the most daring of the two, but the music of the oldest soundtrack, Lorca And The Outlaws, is probably the most in line with the tastes of the average Genesis fan. It's very melodious, the sounds of the synths are very open, spacey and sometimes a bit enigmatic (though never too much with Banks, who is still a traditional composer in many ways).

There are three vocal songs on the album, one with Fish, one with (in those days) new wave / pop singer Toyah Willcox and one with Jim Diamond, who was lead singer of PhD in those days, a band which was well known for their smash hit I Won't Let You Down. Maybe it's a matter of taste, but I think the song with Jim Diamond ("You Call This Victory") is the best of the three, and it shows Banks' considerable song writing talents. The three vocal songs are also a pointer for the future: from that point on Banks would make solo albums with different singers, and songs with different atmospheres (as opposed to the homogeny in sound and vocals of Banks' first two solo albums).

Soundtracks is a decent album and shows that Banks still had some progressive aspirations, and that he was versatile enough to reinvent himself as a composer and performer. It's not a spectacular album, but is has some real nice moments for prog / Genesis fans.

Moogtron III | 3/5 |

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