- Audio CD (22 Oct. 2012)
- Number of Discs: 1
- Label: MATADOR.
- ASIN: B008U2J308
- Other Editions: Vinyl | MP3 Download
- Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 79,136 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)
|Price:||£12.53 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over £20. Details|
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Paul Banks, lead singer, guitarist and songwriter for Interpol, steps fully out from behind his Julian Plenti alter-ego on his second solo album. Following 2012's limited edition (and now sold out) EP, the 2012 album is a tour-de-force of mechanised, minor-key intensity. Recorded in New York and Connecticut with producer Peter Katis (Interpol, The National, Shearwater, Jónsi among others), Banks is by turns bleak, sad and exhilarating. Featuring some of Banks's most complex song structures yet.
What’s in a name? Paul Banks might be a good person to ask – the Interpol singer is releasing his second solo album not as Julian Plenti, the moniker he used for his first solo effort, but under his real name.
There are, of course, songs that sound like Interpol – Banks’ disembodied vocals shimmering over ominous, paranoid melodies on Paid for That, I’ll Sue You (which contains one of the most oddly and pointlessly litigious choruses of modern times, if not ever) and No Mistakes. But there are also those on which Banks, like he did as Plenti, moves away slightly from the band that made his name.
The Base pares down those synthetic effects for its gentle choral refrain, Banks proclaiming in his natural voice that “Now and then I can see the truth above the lies”. Certainly, it’s a playful acknowledgement of Banks’ identity swapping, but it still bears resemblance to his previous incarnations. The same can be said of the almost acoustic, gentle lull of Arise, Awake.
It’s on Lisbon and Another Chance that Banks really forges his own, individual identity – and ironically so, because these are the tracks which feature the singer least. The former is a semi-tropical instrumental, and an ultimately innocuous one at that, while the latter loops quotes from obscure film Blackout over an increasingly spooky, sinister, X-Files-esque leitmotif. It’s certainly the album’s most interesting and distinctive moment, though it bears little resemblance to the rest of it.
Normal service resumes by the end of the record, however, with the distinctly Interpol-recaling closer Summertime Is Coming exposing Banks’ frail humanity with its fragile, sorrowful, acoustic denouement. It is, alongside Another Chance, the zenith of this set. Hence, two wildly different songs serve as the highlights of this curious, curate’s egg of an album.
While it lacks focus and cohesive identity, the album Paul Banks named after himself does demonstrate that there’s more to this artist than previous form suggests.
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Top Customer Reviews
Having said that, "Banks" is a very pleasant album that grows on you with some almost great moments like "no mistakes" (great layered synths) and "paid for that" and I kind of like "lisbon" which almost everyone seems to consider a weak point. It's just that most songs could easily fit in a (weak) Interpol album, so what's the point of a solo release? Maybe these were ideas rejected by the rest of the band or the first indication of an impending break-up following departure of Carlos D?
Two more quality tracks instead and I would have given it 5 stars.
Quite similar to Interpol although I cant help feeling that as with other artists solo efforts, it would have been better with the rest of the band on board sharing and suggesting ideas.That said, there is no doubt Paul Banks is a quality song writer.
The sound quality is not that bad, although as usual mastered way too loud, but some attempt at preserving dynamic range has been made which does reduce ear fatigue a bit...Some other recent and not so recent cd`s have far worse sound,like the Killers and Coldplay for example.
Banks will do for now until Interpol get back in the studio.(if they ever do of course!)
We are here to review 'Banks'.
These ten tracks have surpassed my expectations and will fill the void very nicely while Interpol are on their hiatus. Paul seems to be in a good place at the moment and I'm sure these energetic and uplifting songs reflect that state of mind. 'The Base' is an excellent upbeat opener and paves the way for more superb tracks. Standouts are 'I'll Sue You', the spooky 'Paid For That', 'No Mistakes' and the closing 'Summertime Is Coming'. Every track on 'Banks' has something special to offer the listener (if you want it) and shows the scope of Paul's musical creativity and influences.
Well done Paul, you've made a brilliant album that I'm sure I'll still be listening to and enjoying for years to come.
this album will just grow & grow on you. dont expect to listen to anthing interpol on this LP
Quirky, beautiful ,catchy, Stylish, and that makes for a very different cocktail indeed
If the rumours of Dengler being a reluctant bassist were true, then so too could those be of Banks being an unsure frontman. It's an argument certainly given weight by Banks's first solo foray, an LP which appeared in 2009 under the name of Julian Plenti. This alter-ego is no more however. Now we just have Paul Banks and an album economically entitled Banks. With this grand unveiling we might therefore have expected some great surge of confidence, a stepping out of the literal and metaphorical shadows of Interpol. Instead we frequently find Banks stripped back rather than bare.
There's an almost acoustic offering in the shape of "Arise, Awake", for example, but so too is there a raft of anaemic emoting, which causes Banks to run for cover, reverting to type be it subconsciously or not, just as he did as Plenti. Banks isn't hiding any more that's for sure, but he's also opening himself up for attack in the same manoeuvre - and he gives plenty of ammunition to the naysayers with the fairly terrible lyrical threats of the otherwise solid "I'll Sue You".
There are however silver linings amongst the running order and, interestingly, these most often occur when Banks steps back from the mic. The patient instrumental "Lisbon" is a good, showing range free of vocal comparison.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Great album with a great sound on vinyl,well pleased with this order.Published 5 months ago by K. J. Edwards
I really enjoy this album, eventhough I bought it a little late, but it is ok, I like the songs and Banks could explore other ways with style as ever! Nice album!!!Published on 23 Nov. 2014 by Frank Bozic Jr.
Paul Banks surpassed himself with this record. I am a big Interpol fan and this album sits highly along side their themPublished on 5 Jun. 2014 by Jim
paul banks voice makes interpol for me and this has filled a space left over since "our love to admire"Published on 22 Oct. 2013 by wat dabney
If you like Interpol, this isn't too far away from that style, but with it's own personality. No real killer track, but overall a solid set & a quality addition to my collection.Published on 15 Feb. 2013 by DWP