Albert Hammond Jr. – Yours to Keep
Childlike Spirit for Adults
Straying from the sounds of both his Gibraltarian-musician father and garage-rock band The Strokes, Albert Hammond, Jr. creates his own romantic indie-pop sound on his solo debut, Yours to Keep. Hammond penned his debut himself, and songs feature contributions from Sean Lennon, Ben Kweller, Fountains of Wayneâ€šÃ„Ã´s Jody Porter, The Mooney Suzukiâ€šÃ„Ã´s Sammy James, Jr. and Strokes lead singer Julian Casablancas.The lyrics refer to themes of peace, happiness, and the struggles of growing up. Kickoff song “Cartoon Music for Superheroes” mixes a toy piano, simple guitar arpeggios and drum rolls, allowing the listener to think back to the days of being a little kid collecting comics, and idyllic heroes with magical powers. Standout track “Everyone Gets a Star” concentrates on accepting problems, repeating over and over that â€šÃ„Ãºthese guys have all got their problems / and everything just falls apart.â€šÃ„Ã¹
For a 27-year-old, Hammond seems to have some unresolved issues with growing up and growing old, but using writing as his outlet yields positive, relatable results. Spotlight track “Scared” delves deeper into fears about relationships and friends, claiming “I know you’re still there because you’re scared.”
The album clocks in at just under 35 minutes, with the only track exceeding five minutes being finale “Itâ€šÃ„Ã´s Hard to Live (In the City).” The melodic album draws the obvious Strokes comparisons for its same dance-rock sound, but also recalls the music of Pet Sounds and at times even Death Cab for Cutie. Hammond has crafted a simple album easier to digest than most Strokes albums, and leaves the listener hoping that maybe Casablancas will share a little singing spotlight with Hammond on the next Strokes effort.
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