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Tony Banks - Still CD (album) cover


Tony Banks


Crossover Prog

3.14 | 122 ratings

From, the ultimate progressive rock music website

4 stars #25 Review

Update from March 7th 2022 Why do i keep going back to update this review? Well, i found out that i had a different mix than the latest one and my apreciation for this album has really changed in a few years.

1.- Red Day On Blue Street 8/10 Percussion is insane, chord changes are beautyful, and although it repeats for a while, it keeps it entertaining by adding progressively more to the track as each section repeats, probably the weakest part of this track is the solo with those fake trumpets and Nik repeating the chorus too much in the end... although that seems to be an industry standard. This track is still insane though, the change on "We are the chosen ones" is beautyful, its a Tony Banks standard though, but i'm always happy to hear that. I had complaints about the mixing, it feels too cluttered, and that hasn't been fixed, yet i don't mind that as much as i did back then, but it could be a turn off for some people. Also, the chord changes make me want for the track to never end, but it lasts exactly what it needs to last.

2.- Angel Face 5/10 (same score as always) I'm a little harsh towards this track mainly because i find it too repetitive and the chord change sounds to happy for my liking, but i still really like the wall of sound here and the cruel lyrics, probably not a big fan of Fish's singing in this one and the percussion here needs more room to breath, a song that its again very affected by clutter, this one worst than any other on this album. The mixing changes put the keyboards more in front in some sections, and the guitar in others, the best thing about this track is the guitar solo in the end.

3.- The Gift 9/10 I can't believe that i once said that this track is really basic, this track really grew on me a lot, its insane, its almost as if i never listened to it in its entirety. The biggest problem i had with this track is the music video, i don't like it and it gets me dizzy along with the music. The thing with this track is that they keyboard never stops, and the chords are very special, it feels like the track is almost always distinct, the part were it goes to "the magic glow" its a little bit different and feels like the chorus, but then the song changes drastically and keeps going up, it just doesn't stop and then magically goes back. It has kind of this "pyramid" structure to it, although with a tail, that being the final repeat of the chorus. This song was really hard to take in because of the sound, and i remember that at first i thought that it was a song for little kids, probably because of the sound as well, but no, this track is one of the most difficult in the album, that would be if it weren't for the next one.

4.- Still It Takes Me by Surprise 9/10 The singin and the playing here is lovely, this is the closest to classic romantic Tony Banks song on this album. One of my grips with this track that doesn't seem to have been fixed is what i call the "Nic Davis spit mix", were he just leaves the sound of saliva from the singer, really gross, a huge turn off for me in listening this track more often, but the track is great, i would listen to it more without the singer, he does a great job but the mixing doesn't. The solo in this track is beautyful, this is the longest solo in the album, and at first i wasn't sure about it but its a joy to listen to it, i probably expected Tony to go in a different direction, but this was the one with more taste to say in a way, although the coming back from it into the track is not very smooth.

5.- Hero for an Hour 8/10 I was kind of harsh to this track again, because it felt like a little kids track, but its very weird and interesting, its a track that goes with the journey being told and what an special one is at that, i learned to appreciate the chords, specially the change on "little x you are on your own, you're so scared and far from home", that's very scary but somehow fits with the playfulness of the track. I was also harsh because of the weird voice effects and constant repetition, but the repetition works in favor of the weird story and the weird voice effect is accompanied by a sound that reminds me of a Prophet 5 effect, and that's always a treat.

6.- I Wanna Change the Score 8/10 (keeps the score) The beginning chords are what drive me towards this song, the sound so ominous, yet they go kind of happy for a track that talks about very sad things, yet the happy part is in an odd time signature. This was the earliest track for me to like on this album and i see why, i was really into odd time signatures and i still am. The weakest part on this track is definitely the solo, its too simple, but tasteful.

7.- Water Out Of Wine 6/10 (keeps the score) Even though it repeats a ton, the chord change is very impactful, reminds me of something else that already exists for some reason. A new observation i have towards this track is that Tony really wanted to continue the solo after the fade-out, you can barely hear it but he was really going in with it and i would like to hear the full thing.

8.- Another Murder of a Day 8/10 If the title track is more classic Tony, then this track is more classic Genesis, its the kind of track that Fish probably always wanted to do with Tony, a 9 minute long epic, with many changes, an interesting story and a very small but cool solo. I originally considered this to be the best track in the album, so i was already very positive on the track, but then i say that the song losed my interest in the last 3 minutes of the track, i still have that sentiment but not as much because i really love the choir sounds near the end... with all that the song has done in the previous 6 minutes, i should be more than willing to listen to the conclussion, but its still something that could've been done differently.

9.- Back to Back 6/10 (keeps the score) At the 1 minute and 40 second mark, there is a very interesting change and the chords take the protagonism on the track, and i really like how it sounds, but again, the track is very repetitive until the great small guitar solo that fades out for no reason.

10.- The Final Curtain 5/10 The track somehow goes up a ton, it doesn't stop when you think it will and the Tony busts out the synths, and then goes back somehow. At this time, Tony really felt like everything was going to end, with Fading Lights on Genesis and this track on this album. I really like the changes, not so much the sound, the intention, structure and even singing, it doesn't feel very original, its like a song that already exists but with a HUGE Tony Banks twist, and that's very cool. This is the only Still track that i listen less than any of the others, i know why, already said it, but sometimes i feel like listening to that change, or just want to listen to it because i feel like it, but i'm not always up for it, yet i don't feel like finishing the album without listening to this track.

So now this album has a 72/100, and that means... another star is added, i really enjoy the album now, it really did took time and probably many others will increase as well... well done Tony Banks, i bought Banks Vaults, really enjoy it. ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------ Update from April 3rd 2019 I woke up and suddenly my mind said "remember I Wanna Change the Score?" and the music started playing out of nowhere in my mind, and i was really happy, then at work searched the album on youtube and heard the first track and i was in love with it, then read this old review and realized "damn, i was mean to this album, i gotta give it justice", so i heard the whole album and pointed out what i liked and what keeps being the same.

1.- Red Day On Blue Street 7/10 The lyrics, chord changes and progression are brilliant, it fits the formula for a hit, but as any hit is repetitive and as a Tony Banks it could use a little more of his talents, the small solo doesn't satisfy me and the horns are a little annoying.

2.- Angel Face keeps its score, but i have to point out that the good atmosphere that sets at the start doesn't carry on.

4.- Still it Takes me by Surprise 8/10 Yes, i skipped The Gift because that one its the same for me, but this one as i said in the review is the best song in the album still for me, but i increased the score.

5.- Hero for an Hour 5/10 While the song its a little dumb at times, it doesn't deserve the same score as The Gift, it also has some nice vocal distortions like in The Fugitive, but this song has the better use.

6.- I Wanna Change the Score 8/10 You could say that i changed the score, this song was so stuck to my head and it surprised me even more after realizing that one part was made in 7/8, not only that, but it was cleverly implemented, probably one of the best uses of that time signature since i heard Solsbury Hill. This song its good cheese but it could add a little more Tony Banks.

9.- Back to Back 6/10 Water out of Wine, Another Murder of a Day and the last song after this one keep their respective reviews, but as of this song, i liked it a little more now and i can't understand how it wasn't a hit, also, that guitar solo its fine, a little short.

Final Score this time is 60/100, wich increases 1 star, making it a 3 star, this is the review in wich i felt the most need to do something about it, i was unfair to the album and now i kind of understand why people praise it so much, while with Abacab i'm still having trouble (i updated that one as well and the score remained the same). I enjoyed Still, and now i'm going to listen to those hit hidden gems again.

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------ Original Review from October 18th 2018 After a long hiatus i'm finally back, there have been many changes in my life, but i also had lost inspiration in reviewing for some time, that's why i'll approach this really simple to approach album... well, not really, every time that i listened to it i wasn't paying atention because of how simple it felt, but now i'll try to pay atention and actually do a review about it.

I like that many people are cooperating with Tony here, some people that we've seen in his past work and people that we will see later again. It'd be cool if he worked with them again... except with whoever designed his album art, really boring.

1.- Red Day On Blue Street 5/10 Mostly happy and harmless pop song, i have the feeling that this album will keep being like this, not good, just ok.

2.- Angel Face 5/10 This one gets more intense, like what i've been accustomed already, something that i forgot to mention about the past song that this one also has, lyrics over music or atleast music at the service of lyrics, nowadays is voice over instruments.

3.- The Gift 4/10 Reminds me of a later release... Strictly inc. Heavy on scales, reminds me of "The Serpent Said" where in the review i said "chord progressions" when i wanted to say scales . It is happy, sounds like a modern church song near the end, really basic.

4.- Still It Takes Me by Surprise 7/10 The title track, a normal ballad, more complex than everything so far. Finally a piano solo, not the best one but good. I like the chord changes and scales, i would've done the song shorter and added some more instruments... like a mellotron, everything is better with mellotron.

5.- Hero for an Hour 4/10 I haven't pointed who was singing in each song, that's the sellout of the album, i really don't care that much if the songs are still boring, but it is always something special to know when Tony is singing his own songs. This song is just ok, a little simple again, more lyrics than music again, repetitive and a little charming, but it doesn't have much going on.

6.- I Wanna Change the Score 6/10 Reminds me of "Moving Under" from "The Fugitive". This song fits right into a slice of life relaxing 90s movie, better than ok, gives a good mood and does it right even tho i don't feel like the music should be so happy because of the lyrics.

7.- Water Out Of Wine 6/10 A haunting song, its average, the chords sound special tho, it gives some certain intranquility. I have to point out Jayney Klimek because i really liked her work in Bankstatment and here she shows that she works really good with Tony Banks.

8.- Another Murder of a Day 7/10 Already a really nice atmosphere, the best song from Tony with Fish on vocals. This song is really good, but near the last 3 minutes, it feels as if Tony went tired, and the song gets happy while also giving the queue to the short guitar solo, if it wasn't for the last 3 minutes, this would be 1 point higher, it is still the best song on the album. The last piano notes are too late to save the song from losing my interest.

9.- Back to Back 5/10 Pumping that rythm out, it sounds good, it gets very repetitive but it has some moments near the end. At this point i'm a little tired of this album, i would've given it a 4.

10.- The Final Curtain 4/10 Another song that reminds me of "Strictly Inc." and i'm already tired of this album, but wait, at half of the song, it gets more hyped, but that doesn't stop the song from being repetitive and boring. I don't feel like it deserves a 3 tho, its a little better than that.

Overall this album gets a 53/100, wich is 2 stars and the lowest overall score so far, i expected less but i finished surprised. I still feel like not recommending any song unless you like the musicians involved that aren't Tony Banks, this album offers good moments instead of good entire songs.

I still don't know what's certain in the future but who does, i'll probably review Six next.

FalconBleck | 4/5 |


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