Albert Hammond Jr. – Yours To Keep

Albert Hammond Jr.Ah the solo album of the guitarist from a successful indie group. These can go two ways, from the great (Graham Coxon) to the not so great (John Squire). The thing is, a lot of the time a guitarist is equal songwriter with the singer in a band so why record a solo album. To be fair, most of them leave a band before actually doing it. Some (like John Squire or Bernard Butler) kinda fanny about with a new group before ultimately biting the bullet and recording their solo opus. Strokes guitarist Albert Hammond Jr. has decided to record his solo album, whilst still in the group and only three albums into their careers. It seems like a strange move, but with the Stroke’s indie credibility falling (unfairly I think), maybe this is a good time to get these songs out, whilst all the hipsters know who you are.

Yours to keep starts off with the bright “Cartoon Music For Superheroes” which sounds almost like a Flaming Lips tune; it nice and short and actually has no guitars which is nice considering it’s a guitarist who wrote the thing. The next track, “In Transit” sounds like an actual Strokes track, but there’s a pleasing earnestness in Albert’s voice. It’s also good to hear some synths backing up the tune. “Everyone Gets A Star” has a familiar Strokes-ey guitar line, but the sound is more full bodied. “Blue Skies” just reminds me of a “Don’t Let Me Down” by John Lennon, but not in a rip-off sense. It’s a quiter, acoustic track that slows the momentum down. “Back To The 101” is a a top song and a good choice for a single.

“Bright Young Thing” is a county tinged, pleasant song, but again it’s nice to hear acoustic guitars instead of another song that just sounded like the Strokes. In all honesty it’s hard to think of a bad song on the album; it’s only 10 tracks long and lasts just under 35 minutes so it never outstays it’s welcome. The closing track “Hard To Live (In The City)” has croaky, but heart-felt vocals that keep it powering along but after just over three and a half minutes the track fades out. It comes back in with a reggae beat and some lovely sounding trumpets and horns. It’s a great moment and this is a great album. It’s probably far better than anyone expected and would make a great Summer time driving album.

Albert Hammond Jr.

 

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  1. Dude, you should write music reviews. This is pretty in depth. Want to write a review for me! ha ha no really have just signed up to this new record label http://www.astronomyrecords.com they are supporting easy rock, soundtrack and some other albums. Not many but its high quality stuff. AND they are giving people the chance to freely download all the music for the next 3 months. Talk about try before you buy. Any way no-one knows about us so I guess it makes sense. Take care and if you like the tunes drop us a line.

  2. Graham Coxon’s songs are good (the ones I’ve heard anyway) but he really can’t sing.

    Excuse my ignorance but who’s John Squire?

  3. John Squire used to be in the Stone Roses. He quit and then formed the Sea Horses who split up after 2 albums. Then he did a couple of solo albums then buggered off to be a painter.

  4. He hates roses lol

    The Albert Hammond Jr song is good, I can see it growing on me even more (if I hear it more).




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