Review Summary: A solid effort from Albert Hammond Jr and fans will be pleased.
With a unlikelihood of new Strokes album anytime soon and frontman Julian Casablancas working with The Voidz, Albert Hammond Jr has had time to put out a new full length. It's been 7 years since Hammond Jr's last effort 'Como Te Llama' and a lot has changed in his private life, in particular his drug rehabilitation. After seeing The Strokes at Hyde Park this year and hearing both singles 'Born Slippy' and 'Losing Touch' I have been looking forward to this release.
The album has 10 fresh songs and opens with lead single 'Born Slippy'. Hammond Jr's style is immediately present through the guitar work that is reminiscent of the staccato opening of The Strokes 'Machu Picchu'. The guitar interplay is a recurring theme throughout the album (which comes as no surprise for anyone familiar with The Strokes or AHJ) and in my opinion is some of the best AHJ has put out in his solo career.
The most striking improvement Hammond Jr has made on this record compared with his last album or EP has been in his vocal style. Previously, it was fair to argue that Hammond Jr was not a naturally strong vocalist with a limited range; but this album has shown that his vocal capabilities have expanded in the years between albums. His vocal strength is heard on the chorus of 'Comin Getcha' and the lows he hits on 'Power Hungry' particularly stand out for me from initial listens. Lyrically this album has nothing wrong with it as far as I can hear and the delivery appears to be very earnest, so I am looking forward to reading the lyrics in full when the album is official released.
This is Albert Hammond Jr's strongest album yet and it contains some of his best songs which makes for a very consistent listen; but as much as a strong step forward this is for AHJ it feels like an improvement on a current idea rather than a new venture altogether, which could be very beneficial to him as a musician and gaining new listeners. Albert Hammond Jr hasn't lost it; his style and influence is as present in this album as it is in the contemporary British Indie scene at the moment, which stood out for me in particular on this album.
As I'm currently listening off of the streaming link it is likely that I have missed several positives/negatives about this album, but this is my initial reaction to the album. I'm interested in what other people think about it and if they picked up things I have missed. The albums that I have recommended are albums that have had a lot of speculation over attempting to sound like The Strokes and Albert Hammond Jr, so they are worth a listen if you enjoy this album.