Haim – Something to Tell You
It was always going to be hard for Haim to match their debut album Days Are Gone (2013). The three sisters – Este, Danielle, and Alana – set the bar high with their addictive hits, a four-year wait, their collaborations with Calvin Harris and supporting Rhianna and Taylor Swift, who is, herself, a super-fan it seems.
Fans were anticipating a moreish blend of 70s and 80s pop-rock, Californian sunshine, soft electric guitars and just a hint of 90s R&B. The band reunited with producer Ariel Rechtshaid and the playful synths, effervescent yet lush pop sounds that seem part of this partnership tease the promise of this album further, as do the more experimental CocoRosie-like splintering voices of Nothing’s Wrong – these were exciting but all gone too soon.
Still, this record will be great live and one could be forgiven, bursting out of work way too late on a Friday, for falling a little for Want You Back, which already sounds like a throwback. Most of us are not at our best in the middle of a break-up; Haim, aiming to mimic the curve of the break-up narrative, are at their best when fighting back, lovesick, dare-I-say-it and sassy. Nothing’s Wrong and Little of Your Love are highlights here. This band may also be one form of the new girl power – comradeship, sisterhood, call it what you will, these girls are in it together and at their best we hear a bit of The Supremes in these backing vocals…but then, there’s also a bit of Hanson. With their unrepentantly feel-good pop, the three-piece may have the rare problem of being too self-aware and too referential. On first listen: Fleetwood Mac, Shania Twain, Destiny’s Child, The Cure – but once we’re done talking about all of those there isn’t much left to say. Lyrics that never rise beyond the crowd-pleasing “gave you my love, you gave me nothing” can’t be rescued by cunning high-hats and an organ conjuring George Michael’s Faith (though those are fun).
Something to Tell You promises a story it can’t deliver. We go from Want You Back to Ready for You to Walking Away to Right Now but there’s no rich, full, painful, lurching emotional journey. There is no heartbreak. These are songs and titles that could be plotted on a graph and this album never gets beyond two dimensions. Comparisons to Fleetwood Mac, though inevitable, should be avoided. Haim might have something to say but they’re not sure what it is yet.
Something to Tell You is released on 7th July 2017. For further information or to order the album visit here.
Watch the video for Want You Back here: