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Peter Banks - Self-Contained CD (album) cover


Peter Banks


Jazz Rock/Fusion

2.10 | 11 ratings

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Symphonic Team
2 stars Contains funkin' profundity!

Peter Banks rapidly followed up his second solo album, 1994's Instinct with Self-Contained in 1995 (which is striking keeping in mind that there were 21 years between his first and his second solo albums!). This album follows in the same vein as the previous one with Banks' lead guitar playing the main role throughout with support only from keyboards and drum machines. Unfortunately Self-Contained does come off as a lesser album, a bit like the leftovers from Instinct. There are several good moments here and some tracks are up to par with the better tracks on Instinct, but there is also a lot of lesser grade material that feels like mere transportation. With a running time of one hour and 15 minutes, there would have been ample room for trimming.

The album contains no less than 21 separate tracks, some of which are very brief and many of which contain spoken word samples. Indeed, the album takes several minutes before it even gets off the ground as it begins with some unnecessary "foreplay" (first three tracks). I often find the samples annoying as it lifts focus from the actual music. There are references and musical quotes from the music of Banks' bands Flash and Yes. At one point there is a sample from a radio program where two music "experts" agree that the music of Yes is "pretentious and empty". (Idiots!). Banks probably included this to signal humility and self-distance, but it can perhaps also be interpreted less charitably as Banks' attack against the band of which he was once ejected.

Overall, I think this is the least successful of Peter Banks' solo albums. I would recommend it primarily to fans of the guitarist who already have his other solo albums.

SouthSideoftheSky | 2/5 |


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