Those who've been waiting years for Last Nite to strike twice will be thrilled by Yours To Keep. Those gleefully drawling melodies and trademark jangly guitar breaks are all over the first solo effort by the Strokes' axe-slinger. Every hook-packed track here lets out a bouncy, danceable scream of 'lead single!' Hammond's vocals have more in common with Paul McCartney's than with Julian Casablancas's affected snarl, which works in his favour -- he comes off as an unpretentious pop lover, not a trust fund kid trying to seem gritty. My chief complaint is the album's sameyness. Even the plaintive love songs have the same peppy midtempo major-key swagger, and save for a xylophone clonk here or amplified bass line there, Yours To Keep is kinda like an entire disc of that Lust For Life riff. Fun but a bit flat.
Albert Hammond Jr. kicks it at the Kool Haus Sunday (February 4).