Banks - Paul Banks

Generally favorable reviews - based on 23 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 14 out of 23
  2. Negative: 1 out of 23
  1. 83
    He's still an undisputed expert at cannily spinning his joy-divided spiderwebs. [2 Nov 2012, p.68]
  2. Nov 21, 2012
    The real delights are the dreamily sinister instrumental sections. [Dec 2012, p.100]
  3. Oct 22, 2012
    It makes a terrific album, stronger than Interpol's last two, with enough detail in the arrangement to separate Banks and his day job. [Nov 2012, p.95]
  4. Oct 22, 2012
    It is personal without actually being personal.
  5. Oct 22, 2012
    Banks allows an astonishing texture to flourish without trumping songcraft, as the accoutrements he adds serve to embellish his adroit arrangements.
  6. Oct 19, 2012
    It's a strong album and shows once and for all that Paul Banks doesn't need Interpol, Interpol needs him.
  7. Oct 31, 2012
    Banks' phantasms manage a construct a decent corporeal form.
  8. Nov 28, 2012
    Anchored by the fantastic production of longtime Interpol collaborator Peter Katis, the incorporation of drum loops, sampled dialogue a la Primal Scream's "Loaded" and textural Books-esque embellishments on songs like "Arise Awake" and "Another Chance" offers the sense of sonic adventure Interpol never entertained.
  9. Oct 30, 2012
    On these songs Banks fashions more of an identity for himself as a solo artist outside of anything he's done before, and arguably works even harder here to separate himself from his established project. Some of Banks' songs feel unpredictable even after a few listens.
  10. Oct 26, 2012
    Certainly, there's a familiarity here, the thin guitar lines and washes of synth, topped off with Banks' despondent croon, though in lyrical terms, there is a more confessional tone. [Dec 2012, p.67]
  11. Oct 22, 2012
    It lacks cohesion, with eerie instrumentals featuring with gentle acoustic tracks, it is a noble attempt to progress a rather formulaic, albeit excellent, musical career.
  12. 70
    Banks succeeds in channeling the intensity of one man's regrets, ultimately looking outward and searching.
  13. Dec 4, 2012
    On Banks, he takes a decent pass at pop. [No. 93, p.54]
  14. Oct 24, 2012
    Even though the album's zany unpredictability can be thrilling, it often feels like Banks is adorning vacant tunes ("Arise Awake," the plodding instrumental "Another Chance") with bells and whistles.
  15. Oct 29, 2012
    At times, the songs feel a tad underdeveloped, with sumptuous hooks shining bright over slipshod, kraut-inspired synths and metallic percussion lines... [Yet] Banks can still write a killer song like Summertime is Coming, which greatly overshadows most of the others.
  16. Oct 19, 2012
    Banks is a dense (and sometimes prickly) listen that's not immediately accessible, although it rewards those who give it time. [Nov 2012, p.86]
  17. Oct 26, 2012
    The best parts of Banks are the ones that most resemble Interpol, rather than the stabs at spooky, old-guy mope-pop that comprise most of the record. In that respect, this album fails as a valid statement outside of the confines of Banks' band.
  18. 50
    The guitars and drums machines and electronic selections are a bit unlistenable. There are some redeeming qualities, however, with a solid groove-ridden guitar fashion show with "I'll Sue You" and an eccentric but extremely tasteful European guitar ballad in "Lisbon".
  19. Oct 30, 2012
    At 34, Paul Banks writes bitter adolescent songs, and his namesake proves he still makes it sound true.
  20. Banks is showing some desire to move beyond the design that his career has sustained itself on, but this album shows he's not quite ready to cut the cord.
  21. Oct 19, 2012
    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
  22. Oct 26, 2012
    The passive, languid tone of this album often translates into emotionless muck.
  23. 20
    This solo album is stuffed with aloof, adolescent apocalyptism and self-regard set to lumpy, mechanistic beats and cluttered arrangements.
User Score

Generally favorable reviews- based on 18 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 3 out of 4
  2. Negative: 0 out of 4
  1. Nov 18, 2012
    Banks is a fantastically emotional and cohesive album from the Interpol frontman. The simple fact is that this album puts the last two Interpol records to shame. It's atmosphere and lyrical content put it on another level. Full Review »
  2. Nov 13, 2012
    I want so much to love this record because of my love of Banks, Interpol, and the original Julian Plenti record. But where there were faults on the Julian Plenti LP that I would overlook, here it's hard to make excuses for the poorer arrangement when the best songs aren't that great. Where his words were once haunting and surreal, he's become more direct and boring. You can hear that he doesn't care what anyone else thinks- so much so that he's lost touch with aspiring to be something more. If this was his only record he would be forgotten faster than any other indie band coming out of Brooklyn today. Shame on his producer and Matador for not pushing a more talented and capable man. Full Review »
  3. Nov 5, 2012
    Hard to believe anyone would go under 80 for this. When most of pitchfork's top 100 is recycled drivel and brian wilson tribute bands, this album is so listenable. I cant stop listening to it, which is the first album in ages I can say that about. Detractors presumably thought Echo and the Bunnymen were throwaways as well Full Review »