Tuesday, December 13th, 2016

Guordan Banks – Keep You in Mind

While we keep that bassline in mind…


Thomas Inskeep: From the first time I heard “Keep You In Mind” this year, it’s never left my phone. This is precisely what I want from R&B nowadays: it’s sexy without coming off as dirty, it’s sweetly sung (and I love that Banks uses both a falsetto and his lower register), and it’s got a synthed-up bassline FOR THE GODS. It’s also got a very ’80s feel to it without coming off as derivative or even pastiche; it’s simply from that same well of influence. Asking someone “can I keep you in mind” is a delicious way to say “I’m really into you.” A decade ago, this would’ve spent two months atop Billboard‘s R&B Airplay chart; today, it’s “just” an Adult R&B #1, which saddens me. But I’ll take the good stuff wherever I can find it, and this is as good as it gets.

Ramzi Awn: Banks shows off admirable restraint on “Keep You in Mind,” asking a pertinent question for men around the globe. Designed for candlelit winter nights, his topnotch upper register does not disappoint.  

Alfred Soto: He’s got a Babyface grain without the rhythmic spritz or melodic zap. Babyface wasn’t this blank either: emotion without passion.

Ryo Miyauchi: Southern California is forever in me, so I always find something to keep from breezy electro-funk like this that’s fit for car speakers out in Los Angeles. But it’s also one season year-round here so it doesn’t take much for me to find this feeling elsewhere.

Jonathan Bradley: A deep low-end kick and robotic synth-bass loop roll along in a track that draws upon the 1980s much the way the Netflix series Stranger Things does: half as homage and half as present-day excavation of the fuzzy edges of memory. Guordan Banks murmurs along, but the effect is too muted and otherworldly to sound properly like old radio or a new slow jam.

Iain Mew: Air-light but kept on track by the twin forces of Guordan Banks’ calm confidence and the (synth+)bassline, “Keep You in Mind” has a simple but enjoyable groove. The gasping chorus is the only thing that disrupts its way a bit.

Will Adams: Lush R&B that’s a bit like “The Greatest” in clearer focus, but I preferred the haze that KING brewed up. For what “Keep You in Mind” may lack in depth of production, it makes up for it with that bassline alone.

Brad Shoup: The synthbass is something you’d hear on the KING record, and he’s summoned a smidge of their humid air. Banks nestles into the languid groove, crooning like he envies his echo. The small-scale depiction of longing is quite charming.

Josh Langhoff: Man, that bassline just keeps churning away — which, the principles of form following function inform us, is a testament to the depth of Guordan Banks’s obsession with his beloved. Oh sure, he’s very polite about it, asking permission and such, as though whomever he’s serenading will have any control over which fantasies end up running through his mind. And note the smart ambiguity to those bassline repetitions — is the track alternating between a IV and a ii chord, or between a I and a vi chord? Is there resolution or isn’t there? The mere fact that I’m asking means there isn’t, but every repetition offers a sideways glimpse of the resolution that could be: if the beloved simply said “Yes”; if Banks could allow himself to luxuriate in his fantasies; if together they could will his fantasies to life.

Madeleine Lee: The elemental synth groove and his voice are both so likeable that I’m trying really hard to hear the lyrics as an entreaty to a potential soulmate who won’t make the first move and not as an overly friendly street come-on (“don’t walk away, it won’t be fair”). It’s working about half the time.

Juana Giaimo: “Keep You In Mind” has that ability to please of smooth R&B tracks. It reminds me of summer evenings with lingering sunsets. Guordan Banks’s falsetto can slow down time —  emphasized by the repetition of the same bass throughout the song. But once the sun is gone, life goes on and, in the same way, once the song is finished, I can’t keep it in mind.

Reader average: No votes yet!

Vote: 0   1   2   3   4   5   6   7   8   9   10

One Response to “Guordan Banks – Keep You in Mind”

  1. missed out on blurbing this but it’s easily a [9] from me, one of my most played favorites all year