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Tony Banks - Still CD (album) cover

STILL

Tony Banks

 

Crossover Prog

3.12 | 107 ratings

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VianaProghead
Prog Reviewer
4 stars Review Nš 417

"Still" is the fourth studio album of Tony Banks and was released in 1992. It was originally going to be named with the same name of one of the tracks "Still It Takes Me By Surprise", but it was later shorted to "Still".

"Still" has ten tracks. All songs were written by Tony Banks except "Red Day On Blue Street" and "I Wanna Change The Score" which were written by Tony Banks and Nik Kershaw and "Another Murder Of A Day" which was written by Tony Banks and Fish. The first track "Red Day On Blue Street" is sung by Nik Kershaw. It's a very good and energetic track, very powerful and emotional, that sounds very well from the beginning to the end. Musically, it's a simple song in terms of composition but it has some good and interesting musical appointments, like the use of the sax on it. The second track "Angel Face" is sung by Fish. This is another very good track and it's more energetic, powerful and emotional than the previous track. However, this is a song that sounds more mellow and dark than the previous song, and this is probably because the vocal interpretation by Fish. Here, Fish sounds probably more close to Peter Gabriel than ever. The third track "The Gift" is sung by Andy Taylor. This is another very good song that keeps the album in a very good and high quality level and it's very well balanced. It's the shortest song on the album, but it's very well constructed and performed and it has also good and nice lyrics. This song represents very well how a song composed to be a pop hit can be so good, lovely and with good quality. The fourth track "Still It Takes Me By Surprise" is also sung by Andy Taylor. This is another type of a song that sincerely took me by surprise. It's a very emotional song sung with great sensitivity by Andy Taylor. But, the great highlight of the song, for me, is the piano performance of Tony Banks. His performance is very beautiful and reveals such sensitivity that every time I hear it, always comes to my memory "Firth Of Fifth" of Genesis. This is, without any doubt, one of the highlights of the album. The fifth track "Hero For An Hour" is sung by Tony Banks. We are in presence of another different type of song on the album. It's also a good song, very nice and pleasant to hear. However, I think it has less quality than the previous songs because it's more repetitive, simpler and less imaginative. However, we may say that we are in presence of a very pretty and decent track, indeed. The sixth track "I Wanna Change The Score" is sung by Nik Kershaw. It's a type of song totally different from anything else on the album. This is typically a song where the guitars and the rhythm of the song sound totally as a pop rock song. It's a song that reminds me strongly the albums made by his colleague from Genesis, Mike Rutherford with The Mechanics. This is a good song but too much pop for a progressive rock album. The seventh track "Water Out Of Wine" is sung by Jayney Klimek. It represents another different track on the album. It's a very beautiful and relaxing song on the album with good and nice lyrics and it's beautifully sung by Jayney Klimek. Probably, this isn't a great track, but personally, I like very much of it. Curiously, this song reminds me very much the type of music made by the Italian band Aries on their eponymous debut album, "Aries". The eighth track "Another Murder Of A Day" is sung by Fish. It represents, without any doubt, with "Still Takes Me By Surprise" the two best musical moments on the album. This is the best, the lengthiest and it's also the most progressive track on the album. Here we can clearly see the hand of Fish all over the song, not only on the vocals but also in the composition. It's a fantastic neo-prog song that reminds me, at the same time, the music of Genesis and Marillion. This is, in reality, a great song and represents a perfect marriage between Tony Banks and Fish as a duo of composers. The ninth track "Back To Back" is sung by Jayney Klimek. This is another song composed to be a great pop rock song. It's a very nice and powerful track very well performed and sung, which constitutes a nice and pleasant song to hear. However, it isn't very imaginative and creative. It's also very repetitive and despite being interesting, it isn't one of the high points of the album. The tenth track "The Final Curtain" is sung by Nik Kershaw. It's a fine track with a nice and good vocal performance by Nik Kershaw. Here, he sings some of the sweetest lyrics on the album and he sings it with a passion never seen before in the whole album. This is a perfect way to close the album and the name of the song represents and provides, in reality, a good and nice final curtain to this album.

Conclusion: From all Banks solo albums, I only know very well, "A Curious Feeling", "The Fugitive", "Bankstatement" and this album "Still", until now. So, I've no doubt in saying that "Still" is less good than "A Curious Feeling", but definitely better than "The Fugitive" and "Bankstatement". Musically, "Still" is slightly inferior compared to "A Curious Feeling", in terms of composition and progressivity. However, it's a very good album, well balanced and in reality, it has only one weak song "Hero For An Hour". On the other hand, it has many good songs, especially "Another Murder Of A Day", which is, for me, a real gem on the album. So, in my humble opinion, it deserves to be rated with 4 solid stars.

Prog is my Ferrari. Jem Godfrey (Frost*)

VianaProghead | 4/5 |

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