If any fan of rock music is asked to name one of the most legendary and influential bands of all time, they would be sure to offer The Strokes as a part of their answer. With catchy guitar riffs and passionate vocals, the band has become a centerpiece of the modern rock scene. However, while The Strokes as a whole has received a lot of deserved attention, not everyone recognizes the individual brilliance of the band members. One of these members is Albert Hammond Jr.
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Most known for his infamous guitar skills, he performs multiple roles when it comes to musical positions. From rhythm guitarist, solos, and the occasional backup vocals, he is equipped with all kinds of skills. Although he plays a major role in the band, his contributions are highlighted most in songs like ‘Threat of Joy’ and ‘Take It or Leave It’, where his solos are more defined and subtle than the usual messy and dominant tones that the band undertakes. His unique musical sense is explored more in his solo career. Hammond Jr. also helps along with the songwriting, usually done by Julian Casablancas. Songs like ‘Automatic Stop’ are examples of this, which explains the especially vulnerable undertone that is established by the lyrics.
In his solo career, his album ‘Francis Trouble’ stands out as the most widely liked one. After listening to The Strokes, this album feels extremely familiar, yet enjoyable in a completely different way. Albert Hammond Jr. creates a sound very different to the garage rock roots of the band, opting to head in a more musically stable direction. His music immediately feels clearer to listen to, less distorted, as if the satisfyingly regular rhythm set by the guitar and the drums helps amplify his voice. All in all, his music inherently seems more joyful when he has more creative control over it, as seen best in his most famous track ‘Set to Attack’.