banks

After seven singles, a couple of EP’s and countless flippant comparisons to any number of female recording heavyweights tossed her way (Feist, Erykah Badu, etc, etc.), Jillian Banks’ debut album comes served with a generous helping of old-fashioned hype. Indeed, lest you hadn’t realised you were anxiously awaiting its arrival, ‘Goddess’’s press release will helpfully remind you that this collection is, of course, “waited upon with bated breath.”

Stripping back the bluster and the bloatedness (it clocks in at almost exactly an hour, or 76 minutes if you plump – pun intended – for the inevitable deluxe version) and the jarring teenage poetry (See ‘Fuck Em Only We Know’), this is a decent debut that would be bolstered still by a bit of focus and a less precious approach in the cutting room.

While its team of eight producers means that Banks can showcase her undoubted vocal talents, it ultimately makes ‘Goddess’ feel more like a pitch than an album. It’s is at its best, and its most coherent, when Lil Silva’s smattering of UK Funky intertwines with the gentle electronic pop of Orlando Higginbottom, making the acoustic ballads overseen by Tim Anderson feel all the more tacked on, while the influence of Al Shux, who has (quite clearly) previously worked with Lana Del Rey, turns ‘Drowning’ into an outrageously blatant ‘Born To Die’ pastiche in its execution, delivery and subject.

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