Albert Hammond, Jr.: ¿Como Te Llama?
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.