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Tony Banks - Bankstatement CD (album) cover

BANKSTATEMENT

Tony Banks

 

Crossover Prog

2.73 | 56 ratings

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Easy Livin
Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator / Retired Admin
2 stars Low on credit?

Having failed to achieve the level of solo success enjoyed by his peers (Gabriel, Collins Hackett & Rutherford) from Genesis, Tony Banks released under the name Bankstatement what was really another solo album. Unfortunately, the venture was no more commercially successful than his previous attempts, and the name was quickly dropped.

For this album, Banks brought in the legendary Steve Hillage on guitar and production duties. While the production is indeed top notch, the talents of both Hillage and Banks are largely wasted in a collection of anonymous pop and soft rock songs. Sensibly, Banks takes a back seat on vocal duties on all but one of the tracks. He employs Alistair Gordon for six of the nine tracks, Jayney Klimek singing on a further two and dueting with Gordon on "That night". Gordon sounds very like future Genesis singer Ray Wilson, his throaty style also being reminiscent of Kim Bacon's contribution to Banks' first solo album.

The album opens in rather worrying fashion, with a brass intro to an upbeat pop rock number, which is rather too much in the vein of Phil Collins solo work. The "keyboard brass" is "augmented" by the real brass of The Phantom horns. Fortunately, this is the only track with a brass arrangement.

In rather predictable fashion the upbeat pop songs alternate with reflective ballads. Of the ballads, "I'll be waiting" is a pleasant but undistinguished song with breathing keyboards, while "That night" is a sugary middle of the road duet. The upbeat songs are the least appealing though, especially when Banks insists on singing on the "Jesus he knows me" related "Big man". "I need a roof" is probably the album's nadir, with all the characteristics of a Cindi Lauper reject and featuring lyrics such as "Call me, please talk to me, tell me the truth, I need to believe like a house needs a roof".

There are a couple of slightly more exciting songs. "Queen of darkness" is a bit heavier, the female lead vocal making for a pleasant change. "The border" sees Alistair Gordon sounding more than ever like Ray Wilson, Banks' supporting keyboards giving the track slightly more depth.

The main problem is the although Banks writes all the songs, his keyboards never take centre stage, preferring to maintain a supporting role throughout. The sole exception is the closing instrumental "Thursday the twelfth", when Banks finally comes up with something a little more constructive. Even here though, he hardly challenges himself, the piece being a mid-paced plod through some pretty straightforward keyboard exercises.

Not Banks' finest hour by any means, and a further indication that Phil Collins was far from being the only guilty party in Genesis migration to the murky world of pop.

Easy Livin | 2/5 |

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