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Albert Hammond Jr ¿Cómo Te Llama? Review

Album. Released 2008.  

BBC Review

Fans’ll be satisfyingly full after a portion of ¿Cómo Te Llama?.

Sophie Bruce 2008

Don't let the name of Albert Hammond Jr's new album throw you – this is no folky latin offering. Drawing on his day job as guitarist in rock band The Strokes, this is a stylish, confident, eclectic album filled with whimsical rock, riffy guitars and strings.

Hammond is far from the latest to dabble in the current spin off and side project trend – this is his second solo album. Recorded, like the first, at New York's Electric Lady Studios, Hammond and his band spent just five days on the disc. The title may ask 'what's your name?', but he’s crystal clear on his own musical identity.

Album opener Bargain Of The Century gives a cheeky finger up to non-believers expecting a carbon copy of The Strokes' material. The first 30 seconds of soundalike intro squeals to a halt, revealing the main body of the song, which sounds a lot like Pink Floyd's Wish You Were Here.

There are times when his band's undeniable influence shows – You Won’t Be Fooled By This and Spooky Couch have their trademark echoey vocals and plinky guitar riffs. Hammond says The Kinks, The Clash and Neil Young inspired this disc, though there are a lot of original ideas and sounds on it. In My Room is a sing-along anthem to someone missed, while the album's highlight, GFC, summons up strains of long-term influence The Beach Boys and has already clocked up over 25,000 MySpace plays.

Never short of celebrity collaborators, Sean Lennon appears on both solo albums and Hollywood A-lister Joaquin Phoenix has directed a video. But Hammond's also gone with some talented unknowns: Cellist Jesse Reagen's contribution to final track Feed Me Jack is beautiful.

Hammond and his band tour this summer, taking in Australia, Japan and The States before hitting the UK. Hammond says the goal is 'to tour this album everywhere we can, get into those cracks and fill them up with music'. Fans’ll be satisfyingly full after a portion of ¿Cómo Te Llama?.

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