Through a discography of such serenity, passionate crescendos, and relaxation, Inglewood's Brandon Banks blooms to share his album ‘Natural Progressions’. It is an album that demonstrates the want of growing from the depths of pain and other clouded or troubled emotions; a theme that is cascaded throughout all 9 songs, the diversified genre that is RnB and Brandon Banks.
From listening to the album, the guitar is a prominent instrument used by Brandon. Each demonstrated emotion is accompanied greatly by it, whether it be the altered state of sombreness, despair, or realisation. Each song has its own distinct sound, but they all fit like pieces within a puzzle to create "Natural Progressions". You feel the messages that are sung to us, along with the theme of the relationship between man and nature. You feel the infamous guitar strums and the blue lulls. To hear an album that has songs so strongly connected and beautifully created is rare, but Brandon Banks makes it seem so easy. You could easily relisten to this in 20 years' time and feel the same emotions, rhythms and sympathizable lyrics from the hypnotising and storied Wonderland straight to the heartfelt and feverish masterpiece of The Sun.
Starting off with Wonderland, we embrace the tale of living within the consumptive nature of a man’s ego through Brandon’s lyrics whilst being carried by tranquil melodies produced by guitars and soothing harmonies. "Sippin' the potion of a fool" are the lyrics that rise amongst the juxtaposed state of escapism created by lophiile, thus setting the tone and environment that surround this album.
Slow Down has a faster tempo than Wonderland and a stronger guitar presence. We experience a richer R&B feel than we do in Wonderland as we hear riffs, vocal runs, and a strong sense of rhythm.
Needs illustrates a cold late night of wanting a dear lover by one's side. Brandon yearns for their love over a dark R&B synth beat, which is accompanied by a heartfelt tone of sincere and poetic lyrics.
You appear to be in a deep state of nothingness. Making you feel as if you're trying to find a way out of the shadows of loneliness, sadness, and despair. From Better, perhaps Brandon has made a mistake and is attempting to improve himself by recognising his errors. What is ego attempting to share? What exactly is it that he is attempting to combat? These projections of guilt, as well as the effort that a man makes to develop a strong self and take the path of righteousness in order to become a true hero in the eyes of others, but rather his lover.
C&C allows there to be souls elegantly bouncing around a summery groove. Nonetheless, the song demonstrates Brandon's unique ability to create music that is creative and sincere, since his lyrics contradict the listener's first thoughts. This is sustained through King J's Interlude, in which we hear the everlasting desire for change through the eyes of another person, accompanied by more R&B synth beats and a unique electric guitar strum.
Brandon sets himself on a better route as he achieves the glory of fighting inner fights on Tryin'; a track that allows listeners to sway and appreciate the truth that humans "Gotta move on" as "we don't get time back". By hearing trumpets there is an allusion in being triumphant from inner battles fought. Similarly, on Get On, the electric guitar solo, another instrument, represents how healing is a process and a journey that, in this perspective, should be done alone in a secure environment.
The Sun, which closes the album with his characteristic sound, is a passionate song that combines poetic words in an attempt to win back his lover while clutching for the sun. It's a song that precisely matches the tone of his desire, whether good or terrible, in the hope that this is his final song and that he can perhaps reclaim her heart and soul.
Listen to Natural Progressions below!