Of all the Strokes' solo careers, Albert Hammond Jr.'s has been one of the subtlest, despite the fact that he's likely the group's most talented songwriter. In his solo work, Hammond has tapped into both meaty, guitar-driven garage rock and synth-led hipster dance-punk, each undertaking brimming with heartfelt sentimentalism and lovesick letters of growing up. That Hammond has basically grown up as a songwriter in front of the whole world is likely a blessing and a curse, but if his new EP, AHJ, is any indication, his willingness to confront his myriad musical muses is still strong, especially on tracks as carefree as the opener, "St. Justice." It's not as nuanced a pop statement as his 2006 solo debut, Yours to Keep; but AHJ proves that AHJ isn't full of BS. RYAN J. PRADO
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