Review: Banks Rides Nervy Beats Into Heart of Darkness on ‘The Altar’
Our take on pop diva's second album
"I fuck with myself more than anybody else," Banks murmurs on the glassine "Fuck With Myself." This idea of sabotage from all sides – including within – defines the electro-pop diva's second LP, which pairs her whisper-to-a-scream vocal range with jangled-nerve electronics. The pinging "Trainwreck" combines rapid-fire lyrics about escaping a bad-news boyfriend, with hand claps, as if she's at the center of a supportive drum-machine circle, and the emancipation-minded "This Is Not About Us" recalls wistful Latin freestyle. Banks' list of grievances can get wearying, but the music's dour detail is alluring too.