Monday, August 25, 2008


When Strokes man Albert Hammond Jr. first embarked on his solo career, I have to say I was sceptical at best. But the simplistic beauty and uplifting sounds of his debut release Yours To Keep won me over far more quickly then my cynical side would like to admit.

So when I found out about the release of his sophomore effort, Como Te Llama? I was quite confident that I knew what to expect but once again Hammond has managed to surprise me.

Como Te Llama? is everything a follow up album should be plus more. Hammond has taken his same recognisable sound and turned it upside down. The concepts used in the first album were quite sweet and naive. Exploring the ideas of new love and the idealistic hope that so often comes along with it. He’s clearly grown up a little since then and isn’t afraid to explore slightly darker themes and issues.

These new batch of songs are far less instant and recognisable then his earlier efforts but I think they benefit from it. The sweeping, melodious hooks are gone and have been replaced by a much more enthusiastic, driving instrumental sound.

His influences shine through in a much more comprehensive way this time round with aspects of the 60’s and 70’s making themselves known in abundance.

The Standout tracks include first single ‘GFC’ as well as ‘Bargain Of The Century’, ‘Rocket’, ‘You Won’t Be Fooled By This’, ‘Miss Myrte’ and the ever epic, ‘Spooky Couch’.

You don’t have to be a Strokes fan to appreciate this. It may have the same slightly dirty and rhythmic guitar sound but that’s never really a bad thing. Albert Hammond Jr. has done himself proud with this record and I recommend it to anyone looking for something new and interesting to hold their attention.

Lesley Rickman

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