Albert Hammond Jr - 'Francis Trouble'

7/10

Ever since embarking on his solo career with the 2006 debut 'Yours To Keep', The Strokes guitarist Albert Hammond Jr has never really tried to separate his sound from that of his more familiar outfit. Obviously the style of his guitar work remains instantly identifiable on everything he does, but instead it is the content of his lyrics that stand out as he returns with his fourth studio album 'Francis Trouble', an extremely personal release for the frontman.

Named after his twin brother Francis, who was stillborn at the time of their births, the record act as a sort of tribute to the sibling he never knew. While it does have hints of a concept record, the main focus of this release is to highlight the continued pain of someone who lives with the idea of what a person could have grown up to be. Never knowing his brother, he dwells on the ideas and possibilities his life could have had but never got to experience.

Musically, 'Francis Trouble' is probably one of his most proficient releases to date. It's hard lyrical content is juxtaposed with a strong level of musicianship that gives the record a truly uplifting direction. Certainly one to give a try.

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