Banks - 'III'

7/10

Since first arriving back in 2014 with her debut album 'Goddess', Banks has found herself a part of the sombre and darkened RnB sound of North America that artists like Grimes and The Weeknd have been pushing for years. Although still standing up amongst the crowd of those far bigger names, she has always held her own as she displays just as much creativity and experimentation in the world of dark-pop as any of her contemporaries. But with her third album, it seems like she is looking to move away from the more subdued direction of her formative years as 'III' sees her in a more commercial light, bringing a brighter and more euphoric tone with it.

While that is not to say that the old Banks is dead and buried, as this record still packs in plenty of thunderous and pounding moments, but with acts like Billie Eilish and Aurora proving that darker sounds can be just as acceptable in the mainstream these days, this new collection certainly possesses a sound that is less forlorn and more focused on a bigger and bolder style. The album's lead single 'Gimme' and 'Stroke' highlight this new aesthetic more than most, as it looks to jump out and grab you by the ears rather than rely fully on her smooth and pulsing intention to slowly warm you to her sound.

Although it has plenty of moments to get stuck into, 'III' seems to have less of an identity about it. Rather than the clean and clear focus of her first two LPs, this new collection sees her try to adopt something new from time to time, which ultimately affects the pace and tone of the album as a whole. It is clear she is looking to find something new to explore, but just hasn't set her sights on it fully yet.

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