Best Song Ever?: Everyone Gets a Star (Albert Hammond, Jr.)

Note for those using feedreaders: the song is embedded on this review’s entry so there’s a point-of-reference in the review; you might want to view this entry from the webpage instead of the feed.

Background
About six years ago during the throes of the boy-band era and Creed’s establishing themselves as the benchmark for “rock” for the next few years (face it, it’s true, unfortunate or not), “rock journalists” began hyping a new, unsigned band from New York who would supposedly save rock (and/or roll). Well, it’s been six years later, and The Strokes are still more-or-less “the who’s?.” Notably, they were pretty much the first of the “the” bands (the Hives, the Vines, the White Stripes) to get significant mainstream exposure. With the benefit of hindsight, we can see that The Strokes didn’t really end up changing the world, but they do have three perfectly solid albums to their name (some publications weren’t too fond of First Impressions of Earth, but I digress). Long story short, Albert Hammond, Jr. is the lead guitar player in The Strokes, and his first solo CD, Yours to Keep, came out in late 2006. With one listen, his membership in The Strokes is obvious, but the music manages to be a bit less “garagey” sounding than a typical Strokes track, with slightly higher-gloss production and even some vocal harmonies throughout. Consider the album highly recommended.

For

  • The bass part is actually played by a guitar for most of the song. The rhythm part during the opening (up to 0:21) is being played on a guitar. Once the bass comes in at that point, the guitar stays with a bass-type part instead of playing chords (around 0:43 the second rhythm guitar comes in, with the rhythm guitar continuing its “bass line.”)
  • Deceptively complicated for such a simple-sounding song. At 2:04 listen to four separate rhythm parts (rhythm guitar 1, rhythm guitar 2, bass, drums), all of which are unique. (the parts aren’t doubling each other, in other words).
  • Incredibly catchy – I guess that’s that whole “intangible” of a “good song.”

Against

  • Relentlessly dull lyrics:

    These guys have all got problems. / These guys have all got their problems.

    He’s rhyming the word “problems” with…. “problems.”

    When will you stop and see me through / There’s something else I’d rather do

    “Do” is the first entry in any rhyming dictionary for “through.”

    Today, you’ve come now go away.

    Points for the internal rhyme, but points off for the faux-deep jumble of words.

  • The “breakdown” at 2:24 (in other words, when the unique aspects of the song get thrown out) should be a true bridge, not “well, I don’t have any more lyrics, and I don’t want to end the song by repeating the chorus over and over again, so I’ll have it ‘rock out!’ here.

***

Unfortunately, it’s not the best song ever. It had a darn good thing going, then all of a sudden…. well, it didn’t. Considering this is his first solo CD and I’ll say this one song is stronger than anything on Is This It? (except maybe “Someday.”), it doesn’t need to be the best song ever.

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2 Comments

  1. it is a damn good album. you probably have to be at least a casual fan of the Strokes to really enjoy it, but it has gained an spot on my psp for my commute.

    incidentally it’s also good background music when you’re reading; musically solid, but easily ignored at the same time.

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