Albert’s one hell of a wordsmith.
Label: Red Bull records
Released: 9th March 2018
Edging in toward being the most prolific solo-Strokes member, Albert Hammond Jr is also easily the most accessible for any Strokes yearner. While his output up until this point has been hit and miss, with his fourth album, ‘Francis Trouble’, everything aligns for Albert to strike hard and fully present himself as his own entity.
Perfectly coinciding with this greater leap into being an artist of his own volition, opener ‘DvsL’ screams echoes of The Beatles’ experimental opus ‘Sgt Peppers’ by immediately grabbing you with beautiful, rich tones and sing-a-long potential – a timeless approach in every aspect. Just as ‘Muted Beatings’ lustrous imagery of “waitresses to good to forget”, proves that Albert isn’t just a master of the axe, but also one hell of a wordsmith.
It’s this M.O. that follows ‘Francis Trouble’ throughout – and considering it’s inspired by Albert’s search for identity through his knowledge of the loss of his twin in utero, it’s rather spectacular. Each song presents itself as a cinematic journey on this search for who he really is, while most importantly, crafting a musical canvas that has never sounded so good.
At thirty-six minutes, every moment is meticulously chosen to present both Francis and Albert with no time for filler. Get lost in this world and who knows, you might find more of yourself along the way. Steven Loftin