HAIM – Something To Tell You
Though it seems a long four years since their acclaimed debut, Haim are at the height of their popularity. Appealing to both pop and rock circles in equal measures, they seem certain to be future festival headliners. The band’s live video for ‘Right Now‘ was very promising, showing the sisters dabbling with new ideas and dealing with a raw sound that still managed to keep a few hints of that slick trademark Californian feel. The studio version however, and indeed the album as a whole, is buried beneath the production. The band have leaned too far towards the pop end of the spectrum and their musical and songwriting talent has just been airbrushed over with all the subtlety of an airhorn in a library. There was likely an excellent album here at one point before someone in a boardroom meeting somewhere decided to get involved and mess it up.
There are a few exceptions. ‘Want You Back’ showcases their superb harmonies and addictive songwriting, and if you listen closely you can pick out some killer bass tones. Album highlight ‘Nothing’s Wrong’ has Fleetwood Mac written all over it and maintains the perfect balance between raw rock honesty and shimmering pop sensibilities. For the most part however the record has massively overdone the pop factor, which reflects badly on the band and makes it seem like they’re trying too hard and devoid of substance. It’s the musical equivalent of applying make-up with a trowel. It likely won’t do much to slow their rapid rise to the top, but I’d hope that on future releases they’d ditch their overzealous entourage, trust in their own talents, and make the classic album I know they are capable of.