Carl Sandburg Visits Me In A Dream
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Carl Sandburg Visits Me In A Dream

Carl Sandburg Visits Me In A Dream will serve as a blog for me to share my thoughts and musings, with a special emphasis on music. The music that will appear in this blog is for evaluation/sampling purposes only, and is designed to promote up and coming bands. Remember, if you like the artist(s), buy the CD! If you are the owner of a sound file and would like it removed, please contact us and we will kindly take it down.

Monday, November 13, 2006

Albert Hammond, Jr.

Remember when The Strokes were deemed the saviors of rock? Remember when they proceeded to dish out two - dare I say - shit albums? Well, former Strokes followers--do not fear. Albert Hammond, Jr. has released a new album. The album The Strokes should have released. Hammond is the lead guitarist of The Strokes, but he has decided to release his own album for what I believe to be more creative control.

All the catchy lo-fi-ish pop hooks that you loved with Is This It? from The Strokes is here, packed with a more developed sound. His album is titled Yours to Keep, and is currently only in the UK, but you can find imports on Amazon. In Yours to Keep, Hammond, Jr. flirts with a sound that goes down smoothly but still retains a sense of abrasiveness that makes the music so much more interesting for me. It seems that Hammond made a conscious effort to make this his own album, and not another The Strokes album. For one, his lyrics show a more concerted effort to put out a quality lyrical message. As for his abilities on the ol' guitar, he is certainly one of the more talented musicians of today. It also helps when you summon the help of the likes of Sean Lennon (yea, that's one of John's son), Ben Kweller, among others.

What I find most skillful on the album is Hammond's ability to avoid the noise crescendo that his bandmates seem to make in their songs. Sometimes, the dissonance works. Most times, it doesn't do it for me. In "Hard to Live (In the City)", just as Hammond seems to be building to a noisy, he breaks out into a funky trumpet ditty that just fits the song so perfectly. In "Back to the 101", you get that catchy chorus in your head and you can't let go.

Overall, the album is fantastic. It probably won't save rock, but if anything, it proves that rock doesn't really need saving.

Listen to "Back to the 101". Thanks to brugo for the track.

Listen to "Hard to Live (In the City)". Thanks to poptart.

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