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4.5 out of 5 stars19
4.5 out of 5 stars
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Albert Hammond Jr. is best known as the lead and bass guitarist for the Strokes. But don't let that influence your expectations for his solo debut "Yours To Keep." On his own, Hammond turns out a totally different album: a shimmering, creative little pop collection that dips into lean rock'n'roll and vintage sunny pop.

It starts on a note that's very Beach Boys -- sunny, psychedelic-edged, and slightly sleepy. "Goodnight, I said to you goodnight/Dream of all the impossible/And you wake you see/That all these dreams aren't fake/They're real/Not impossible," Hammond croons in a slightly sleepy voice.

All that changes with "In Transit," the most Strokesian of all the songs -- a peppy, uptempo guitar number with slightly rebellious lyrics. But with "Bright Young Things," the style switches back to a circling guitar melody and a sunny musical edge, some folksy ballads, catchy rockers that bloom into peppy pop, toe-tapping acoustic plucks, and ringing songs about vacations in Jamaica.

Despite the variety of styles, Hammond actually does a pretty good job keeping a signature "sound" in these songs -- something a bit happier and slightly wistful than the Strokes. It does have a bit of a split personality, between rock and sunny pop, but I suspect it's something that Hammond will iron out in future albums.

The music has plenty of guitar -- both acoustic and bass -- both in lean sinewy riffs and in circling melodies. But Hammond and a variety of musicians (including Sean Lennon, Julian Casablancas, Ben Kweller, and Sammy James Jr) wrap the songs in a thin layer of other instruments -- tinkly melodica, ukelele, rippling keyboard, and some brass. There's even whistling at one point.

Hammond's voice is kind of scratchy, but it's still pretty pleasant to the ear. And he throws a lot of passion into his singing, whether it's a murmury croon or a belt-out wail. "And you will only hold me/If I will never tell you it would end/And you will never have me/Cause you were only wanting to be friends/And you will always hold out till he gave out."

"Yours To Keep" is a triumph for Hammond -- a solid, shimmering album that straddles between pop and rock. Definitely a good listen, but not for people seeking another Strokes album.
0Comment|6 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on 15 November 2006
I really never expected this album to be anything special. As an avid strokes fan i was very interested to find out AH jr was to release a solo album. The Album is quality from start to finish, reminds me of a cross between The strokes(of course) john lennon and jack johnson. The album has a real summer time feel to it and the harmonys and alberts token guitar work combine perfectly. The lyrics are a lot more meaningful than any of his bandmate julian casablancas, i would like to see him writng some of the strokes tunes in the future. The album for me is an instant hit rather than a grower , i gve it 5 stars.
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Albert Hammond Jr. is best known as as a valuable member of the Strokes. But don't let that influence your expectations for his solo debut "Yours To Keep." On his own, Hammond turns out a totally different album: a shimmering, creative little pop collection that dips into lean rock'n'roll and vintage sunny pop.

It starts on a note that's very Beach Boys -- sunny, psychedelic-edged, and slightly sleepy. "Goodnight, I said to you goodnight/Dream of all the impossible/And you wake you see/That all these dreams aren't fake/They're real/Not impossible," Hammond croons in a slightly sleepy voice.

All that changes with "In Transit," the most Strokesian of all the songs -- a peppy, uptempo guitar number with slightly rebellious lyrics. But with "Bright Young Things," the style switches back to a circling guitar melody and a sunny musical edge, some folksy ballads, catchy rockers that bloom into peppy pop, toe-tapping acoustic plucks, and ringing songs about vacations in Jamaica.

Despite the variety of styles, Hammond actually does a pretty good job keeping a signature "sound" in these songs -- something a bit happier and slightly wistful than the Strokes. It does have a bit of a split personality, between rock and sunny pop, but I suspect it's something that Hammond will iron out in future albums.

The music has plenty of guitar -- both acoustic and bass -- both in lean sinewy riffs and in circling melodies. But Hammond and a variety of musicians (including Sean Lennon, Julian Casablancas, Ben Kweller, and Sammy James Jr) wrap the songs in a thin layer of other instruments -- tinkly melodica, ukelele, rippling keyboard, and some brass. There's even whistling at one point.

Hammond's voice is kind of scratchy, but it's still pretty pleasant to the ear. And he throws a lot of passion into his singing, whether it's a murmury croon or a belt-out wail. "And you will only hold me/If I will never tell you it would end/And you will never have me/Cause you were only wanting to be friends/And you will always hold out till he gave out."

"Yours To Keep" is a triumph for Hammond -- a solid, shimmering album that straddles between pop and rock. Definitely a good listen, but not for people seeking another Strokes album.
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on 7 December 2006
As a huge Strokes fan I had to buy this. Unlike some of the other reviewers I don't think Strokes fans will necessarily like this - it is like a much lighter,sweeter version of the Strokes which for me also means it lacks their grittiness and power.

I like a lot of the tracks - particularly 'Back to the 101', 'In Transit' and 'Scared'.I think the only bad track is 'Everyone gets a star' - very ploddy in my opinion. A good album but for me it lacks feeling/intensity.
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on 11 May 2016
You will find this a bit weird but was having a rest less night so I was sat updating my laptop
at 4-oclock in the morning and started to play this album
And found that it does have some very catchy tunes
so much so that I played it a few times on the trot and enjoying every minute of it
Ok not some thing every one does... But a very good album to have at hand
for sleep less nights

I am giving this album Five Gold Stars for being very enjoyable
and will have a look for more from this artist he's pretty good

must go now time to get some more sleep But I hope you get to enjoy this album
from
SATAN
review image review image
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on 23 October 2006
The solo album by the Strokes rythm guitar player is overall very good. I've been playing it quite a lot over the last few days and it gets better everytime.

If you like the Strokes you won't be disappointed by Albert Hammond Jr's solo effort as it recapture some of the typical sliced guitars/beat typical of the Strokes but with a light-hearted tone. Each song has a different twist to it which highlight the versatility of Albert Jr, while staying true to his style and his Strokes roots, the songs are subtle, very melodic, an awesome near mechanical, rythm section, lovely backing vocals, the occasional Wurlizer, Piano or even Banjo on Call an Ambulance.

While Albert had recruited a drummer and bass player for the album, he's had some very good support from Sean Lennon on backing vocals and playing bits and bobs on quite a few tracks as well band mate Julian Casablancas on backings on the awesome Scared.

Only 10 tracks but no filler whatsoever... a bit like any Strokes album I guess. Anyway I highly recommend the album.
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on 24 February 2007
This is a very good album. One criticism is that none of these songs would look out of place on a strokes album, and if the strokes went for a softer sound, this is probably what it would sound like.

However, having said that Hammond is evidently a talented guy, and the album stands up on its own next to any of the strokes albums. (Except 'Is this it', nothing compares to that!!)
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on 19 January 2013
Great Album, Great condition.

I have really enjoyed this album and feel very happy to have purchased it and have it in such good condition.
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on 20 November 2006
I was very surprised upon hearing this album how different it sounded to the strokes it has a upbeat summery feel my favourite track though has to be 101 which is great. I just hope this album gets the credit it deserves, fair play to albert for pursuing a solo career a bright future beckons.
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on 13 March 2015
This is just terrific, melodic songwriting. Will plant in your brain and release endorphins at a resonate rate through your headphones.
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