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Albert Hammond, Jr - Como Te Llama?

2009-01-19 10:53
Albert Hammond Jr.
The instrumental opener "Bargain of the Century" promises the kind of musicianly cheese that really deserves to make it as the anal sex scene backing music for the next Tarantino movie. "In My Room" is really cute, and its chorus sticks like superglue. And these songs managed to be bouncy and depressing at the same time - and yes, that's a good thing.

This is a strong listen, at least, it is for the first four tracks, and then things fall apart, as Albert's band mostly meander around being all indie before lying down to nap on his famous father's laurels in a way that's not so much a musical tragedy as forgettable - particularly lyrically. There's some nice stuff - don't get me wrong - and it's all well executed, but who has the time to listen to merely "pretty good" music, which sounds like an indie version of indie versions of indie versions of the indie rock and pop cannon ("Borrowed Time", a popular track pick on international sites, is like ska Shins, only with more blatant ELO influences)?

And that's the frustrating thing: This album isn't all that bad. It just doesn't deserve the praise it's getting overseas. It might be more interesting than the last few Strokes albums… but then so is cutting your toenails.

The accompanying DVD, on the other hand, is a different story. Albert is an extremely expressive performer - actually, adorable, in a little-guy way, and doesn't need the flashing lights and gyrating babes to be entertaining. So watch that if you get a chance, and buy "Bargain of the Century", "In My Room" and "GFC" on MP3. Those three are all you really need.

Maybe the title "What's Your Name?" is a dig at his father's famous name, which he inherited, or a comment on the fact that this is only Albert's second solo own-named album, after years playing second fiddle to vocalist Julian Casablancas with The Strokes. But never mind - does the music stand up?

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