Albert Hammond Jr.

Momentary Masters

Vagrant

Jul 31, 2015 Web Exclusive Bookmark and Share


As The Strokes approach their "heritage period," where new material is received with a brief smile and an open gateway to touring, Albert Hammond Jr. finally appears to be making his own headway into a genuine solo career. Momentary Masters significantly benefits from producer Gus Oberg concocting an unhurried and loose atmosphere throughout its 10 tracks, with Hammond Jr.'s colourful and textured guitar lines splintering kaleidoscopically through waves of keyboard and fuzz-edged bass lines. Though he is far from a naturally powerful singer, his voice has a warmth and charm that retains the ability to leap into action on tracks such as "Caught by my Shadow" where he channels an impressive Paul Banks-esque scowl, and on the gritty nasal "Touche." When it all comes together, such as the aforementioned "Caught by my Shadow," the neon glow of opener "Born Slippy," and the excellent "Losing Touch" (which outstrips pretty much anything off the last Strokes record), it is sumptuous and beguilingan artist beginning to step out of the monolithic shadow of his original band. There are missteps on the ponderous and unnecessary cover of Bob Dylan's "Don't Think Twice" and the overwrought "Coming Getcha." And as vibrant as it is, no closing track should ever be named "Side Boob" (just why?). But it's difficult not to be beguiled by Momentary Masters and impressed at its rich colours and ease of flowthe sound of a man carving out his own niche both musically and personally after several previous stumbling starts. (www.alberthammondjr.com)

Author rating: 7.5/10

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