Yours To Keep Enhanced, Explicit Lyrics
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My wife was so smitten, she made me buy the album yesterday - the first day in stores - to have on her iPod at work. His work is definitely more melodic and thoughtful than the Strokes. - (think sweet and sticky - but just enough to you keep you consuming, not caring that your teeth are rotting out of your head), yet there are enough Strokesy guitar riffs, staccato drum beats and rhythms that are just as difficult to shake out of your head as Strokes stand-bys "Someday", "Hard to Explain", "When it Started", "12:51", and "You Only Live Once".
While I don't take the 5 star rating lightly, this album will get plenty of play on my ipod as well and definitely deserves the stature that befits an outstanding solo debut - especially one that could easily be overshadowed or dismissed in favor of the genre defining Strokes.
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.Read more ›
It's a simple, melodic album, that isn't trying to prove anything. Some nice harmonies and hooks. It's hard to explain what's so good about it, just because it is so unimposing - in a good way. But you'll have the choruses in your head all day. Hammond's voice is surprisingly good, too - here he sounds exceptionally tender.
I also enjoyed the cameo from Sean Lennon in "Scared" [Julian Casablancas is also featured on this song, but you can barely hear him, although it's fun to try]. My personal favorites are "In Transit", "Everyone Gets a Star", "Hard to Live in the City" and "Scared".
The only complaint I have is the production is a little shoddy; once again I wonder why someone who has done time in a mega successful band didn't have the cash to fund a side project!
On "Yours to Keep" (12 tracks; 40 min.), the opener "Cartoon Music for Super Heroes" is like a blast from the 1960s Beach Boys. Upbeat "In Transit" is probably as close a Strokes song as anything on this album, and I love it. "Everyone Gets A Star" and "Bright Young Thing" are just about as good. "101" (1st single) is another one of those Strokes-sounding songs, and caps of an incredible first half of the album, which I rate 5 stars. The second half slows down considerably, although there as still some great moments like "Scared" (which features Julian Casablancas and Sean Lennon) and "Hard to Live in the City". The last 2 tracks of the album ("Postal Blowfish", which is just excellent, and "Well... All Right") are listed as "bonus tracks", but why is unclear to me, they simply sound like part of the album proper.
I have to admit that I really did not know what to expect from Hammond's solo debut, and I was very pleasantly surprised by this album. It flows by smoothly and at 40 min., it's over before you know it. One of the better surprises of the yeat so far for me.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
The shipping was perfect and the album was in great condition. And the best part was the sound quality was good, I really enjoyed this purchase.Published on May 4, 2013 by Olivia Foster
I mean, I love Julian Casablancas, but Albert Hammond Jr was the musical genius behind the Strokes. This album is him basically doing whatever the hell he wants with whoever the... Read morePublished on June 13, 2012 by J. W. Boone
Albert Hammond Jr has an amazing solo, the songs are great and the design is cute. Everyone should try it.Published on May 29, 2012 by Ourocard International
Kind of hard to expect an album of this quality when the Strokes have been spiraling downward for a while, but it's a token of a songwriter hidden behind Julian Casablancas for... Read morePublished on April 10, 2012 by Ray King
I really love this album. It's got a lot of really catchy songs on it. You can definitely hear the Strokes influence, or rather, Hammond's influence in the Strokes.Published on February 1, 2010 by RKJ
Yours to Keep being the solo debut for the Strokes guitarist and was released 2006 is a very good indie pop album that has elements from the Smiths and the Cure. Read morePublished on September 24, 2009 by Bjorn Viberg
The debut from guitarist Albert Hammond, Jr. proved to be quite different from his previous work with the New York post-punk band The Strokes. Read morePublished on April 9, 2009 by Mark Twain
This album is good but it's unfortunate that it comes from a Stroke in the sense that there have been many a band that do this sort of thing way better and the best of the lot (The... Read morePublished on July 24, 2007 by The Ox
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. Read morePublished on May 16, 2007 by E. A Solinas