Debut from Strokes guitarist.

The Strokes guitarist Albert Hammond Jr. releases his debut album 'Yours To Keep' through Rough Trade, also home of The Strokes and many other bands of indie excellence. The album features guests such as Sean Lennon and Ben Kweller and fellow Stroke Julian Casablancas on bass. The album also has Josh Lattanzi on bass and Matt Romano on bass.

Opener the fantastically titled 'Cartoon Music For Super Heroes' is an experience like waking from an amazing sleep in the worlds most comfortable and luxurious bed. The soft jingle of bells makes the intro reminiscent of The Velvet Underground's sublime 'Sunday Morning' and this song is perfect for a lazy morning's dozing. 'In Transit' could be compared to The Strokes, but that would do Albert a great disservice. That's not to say The Strokes aren't outstanding, but it's worth point out this album is all his own and not some Strokes off cuts. Albert's soft voice and the soaring keyboards create another dreamy, but more rousing song with only his trademark guitar style giving a slight echo of The Strokes.

The download single 'Everyone Gets A Star' is another slice of melody and relaxed guitars. A rather introspective affair, the song deals with the loss of hope through lines like "sometimes it all seems to drag me down" and "so close, everything just falls apart". This song indicates the level of maturity in the song writing here, and such songs illustrate the huge heart beating at the core of this album. 'Bright Young Thing' is similar to its predecessor, a pleasant listening experience with an edge of sadness, dealing with the vulnerability in relationships. 'Blue Skies' is one of the album's strongest songs and one of the most fragile. A slow, acoustic-led song, it perfectly showcases Albert's throaty vocals, which seem to be near cracking with the emotions on display here. The most fragile song featured here, and one of the strongest.

'Back to the 101' is another of the album's mightiest, a great mixture of controlled guitars and noise, which is highly infectious and memorable, and sure to be the next single. 'Call An Ambulance' has a very catchy intro with its drums and guitar combo, and this is one of the album's most upbeat and jaunty moments, despite its title. This song even includes a perfectly judged whistling interlude.

'Scared' is a Beatles-esque semi-ballad, with wonderful lines like "I think that if we were all we had, that's more than most people ever have, anyway". A great song which ends on electronic samples, it bridges the gap between a 1960s harmony and melody, with modern effects. 'Holiday' begins with the blunt line "wake up, months of change have fucked me up" and begins the duo of escape which begins here and is continued by final track 'Hard to Live (In the City)'. Both songs reveal a desire to run away, be it on holiday or more permanently.

This album has surpassed my admittedly rather high expectations of it, and here Albert Hammond Jr. has crafted something entirely his own and much softer and more reflective than The Strokes. This album deserves huge success in its own right, and with a solo tour beginning next month adoration seems only just. 'Yours To Keep' is certainly an album you will want to hold on to.