Albert Hammond, Jr – Yours To Keep

Albert Hammond, Jr – Yours To Keep / 2007 New Lie / 10 Tracks / http://www.myspace.com/alberthammonjr / http://www.newlinerecords.com /

Albert Hammond does not sound like much of a rocker. However, for those individuals that do not know, ey was one of the integral parts to the seminal band The Strokes. The opening track on “Yours To Keep” is “Cartoon Music For Superheroes”, and it does not sound like the hard, catchy rock of The Strokes for a second. Rather, Hammond plays a style of dreamy pop that has a lot of influence drawn from the sixties pop acts like The Turtles and The Monkees.

Hell, there is even a nod to the sun-baked sounds of the Beach Boys, with more than a passing glance to their “Kokomo”. The track is endearing but it does not yet mark a solo hit for Hammond. The second track on the disc makes a much stronger play for radio rotation. This track, “In Transit”, still uses a lot of the earlier influences to create a track. However, unlike “Cartoon Music”, “In Transit” has a link to the work of acts like Interpol and Fischerspooner, in that there is just a minor hit of electronic music that plays on the edge of the track. The hooky, Polaris-like drum beats of “Everyone Gets A Star” works with the deadpan vocals of Hammond during this track to play to the Bloodhound Gang crew. This track could make it up the charts in the “ironic” way, and the song should be noticed for its’ smart arrangements. This is the first track, in fact, that makes me appreciate Hammond as a master of arrangement. By the end of “Everyone Gets A Star”, Hammond is sitting pretty. For my money, it is the lead up to the chorus on “Bright Young Thing” that makes “Yours To Keep” for me.

The emotional gravity, coupled with impressive instrumentation, is THE reason why individuals should pick up this album. Couple that with a linkage back to the sixties sound of prior tracks along with the dance-like drumming, and one has a track that shines in both the single and album context.  Albert Hammond, Jr on eir “Yours To Keep” does well in the construction of a post-Strokes style. I actually prefer Hammond’s sound at points over the highly repetitive sound of The Strokes. I just hope, that as the years pass, that Hammond can come up with more in the way of solo efforts that are up to the same high quality of “Yours To Keep”. 

Top Tracks: Bright Young Thing, Blue Skies

Rating: 6.1/10

Author: James McQuiston

Ph.D. in Political Science, Kent State University. I have been the editor at NeuFutur / neufutur.com since I was 15. Looking for new staff members all the time; email me if you are interested. Thanks!

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