Albert Hammond, Jr. – Momentary Masters
Stars splintering from a band for solo outings don’t just run the risk of unfavorable comparisons with the better-known body of their group’s work – they will, at some point, fail to measure up to fans’ desires. So Losing Touch, off Hammond’s third LP, would sound better as a Strokes song. Little Strokesian reminders are everywhere – littering or decorating the record, to your taste.
But often enough Hammond wins on his own ground: lyrically, with Power Hungry’s collage of inversions; with Touche's instrumental outro; with his vulnerable vocals (like an AC hum in his comfort zone, then surprising us with clear falsetto; he's at his best covering Dylan’s beautiful Don’t Think Twice, though this promise sags with an overworked arrangement and the wrong drumbeat). And Drunched in Crumbs actually does the Strokes better than Casablancas & Co. Curious, yearning, direct, playful: Hammond's best solo release yet, Momentary Masters is rooted in his past, but it grows toward other lights.