Currently touring with the likes of The Killers, Strokes guitarist and solo musician Albert Hammond Jr drops his fourth solo record Francis Trouble.
The strongest tracks here are those that feel most like his previous records. The catchy guitar chords of Far Away Truths, and the angst-ridden harmonies of Hold On could fit on any of his records, and they work well. Similarly, Tea For Two is much more grungy, and unpredictable, as the moods shift between sections, and a smooth saxophone solo adds a sense of sophistication.
Lead single Muted Beatings could well be the most instant and exciting song he’s ever written. The air of melancholy is palpable thanks to dreamy, interweaving guitar parts, momentous drums and Hammond Jr building up to screams of “I don’t care!” to create a truly powerful crescendo.
Sadly, the remaining tracks don’t quite have the same impact.
Hammond Jr offers some of his most transparent lyrics in the dancey Daft Punk-esque Rocky’s Late Night. While Francis Trouble has some of his best writing, it is still Albert’s weakest album.
Edited by Nicole Morealda