Albert Hammond, Jr.: ¿Como Te Llama?

Music Reviews Albert Hammond Jr.
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Albert Hammond, Jr.: <em>¿Como Te Llama?</em>

Casually solid second Stroke's solo shot

With his second record, Strokes’ guitarman Albert Hammond, Jr. demonstrates that his solo career is notable in its own right.

While the songwriting varies across ¿Como Te Llama?'s 13 cuts, on tracks like the workmanlike opener “Bargain of the Century,” Hammond sounds like a one-man Strokes with vocals ironically more sympathetic than most of what Julian Casablancas usually musters, but with a casual fuzz to the production that continually coos “easygoing side project.” Even when Hammond vamps on “Victory at Monterey” or gets his skronk-funk on at the start of “Borrowed Time,” everything is austere but cozy.

In some moments, though, it’s a bit too easygoing, such on as the seven-minute-plus instrumental “Spooky Couch,” which, while structurally pretty, is easily five minutes too long. On the other songs that are less overtly fixated on the six string, though, it’s actually the guitar that often stands out—the searing licks on “The Boss Americana” makes its Raspberryisms that much cooler. For guitarheads, ¿Como Te Llama?makes for a nifty Fender Stratocaster tonal demo. For more general fans, it’s a relaxingly unfocused but usually enjoyable effort.