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Albert Hammond: Greatest Hits

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Album Review

Albert Hammond displays a heavy Paul Simon influence in how Hammond incorporates Caribbean rhythms and writes stark folk-rock: "Dime Queen of Nevada" is a dead-ringer for "Mother Child and Reunion" and "I Don't Wanna Die in an Air Disaster" recalls "Duncan" so strongly it's fortunate that Hammond didn't sequence these two back-to-back, since that's the only way they'd echo Paul Simon even more. Of these two sides, the Caribbean has a bigger presence here: "Everything I Want to Do" rides a chant-along, steel-drum chorus quite cheerfully as does the light-as-air "The Girl They Call the Cool Breeze" while "We're Running Out" bounces along on a white reggae beat, and these sun-kissed songs are balanced by contemplative introspection ("New York City Here I Come") and dramatic symphonic pop with a nearly cinematic pull ("Half a Million Miles from Home"), along with songs that split the difference between these two extremes (the quite excellent soft rock sweep of "Names, Tags, Numbers and Labels," "Candle Light, Sweet Candle Light"). At times, it seems like Hammond is in conflict with himself since the sunny world pop doesn't mesh with the introspection or the symphonic pop, but it does make for an interesting listen as it vacillates between nearly bubblegum pop and weighty, almost too-ambitious songs.


Born: 18 May 1944 in London, England

Genre: Pop

Years Active: '60s, '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

Albert Hammond is one of the more successful pop/rock songwriters to come out of England during the 1960s and 1970s, and has also enjoyed a long career as a recording artist, his work popular in two languages on three continents across four decades. Hammond was born in London in 1944 -- his family actually came from the British colony on Gibraltar, but wartime considerations caused his mother to be evacuated to London, where she gave birth. He spent his childhood and youth on Gibraltar, where he...
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Albert Hammond: Greatest Hits, Albert Hammond
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