HAIM – Something to Tell You

As I am writing this, I am listening to this album for the first time. I just listened to the first track ‘Want You Back’, and then I listened to a Home Depot and Gillette Fusion commercial (ha). I thought that I would try something different and write the review the album while listening to it, which hopefully produces positive results. Next up is ‘Nothing’s Wrong’, and it’s safe to say that HAIM is going for a pop/rock type album up to this point. I have listened to their debut album, ‘Days Are Gone’, and found that it was more of an experimental rock record with a lot of experimentation. With this record, it sounds as if they have moved towards a more classic sound that reminds me Carly Rae Jepson’s album ‘Emotion’. The vocals have tight harmonies that create a full atmosphere on ‘Little of Your Love’, which is accompanied by fuzzy guitar riffs. On ‘Ready For You’, the guitar has a Nile Rodgers type rhythm, as well as phased acoustic guitar that create a diversified collection of tones. Overall, the band in general has created a rich wall of sound that creates a well crafted backing for the impeccably produced vocals. ‘Something To Tell You’ reminds me of the modern christian pop that you hear on your local christian station, in a good way. I have found that the majority of christian and gospel bands and songs get a bad rap in the hipster music community (haha jk) just because of the indifference of religious beliefs, but overall this sound has been a pretty positive influence on many music genres, such as country, R&B, folk rock (James Bay, George Ezra, Hozier, etc.), as well as many other sub-genres. I grew up listening to christian rock and pop, so I have a biased opinion on a lot of the christian bands that are dominating the christian charts, but again, I felt a connection to some sort of older christian music while listening to the tracks up to ‘Something To Tell You’. I think this is probably because of their melodies and rhythms that I feel this way, but after listening to ‘You Never Knew’, it is obvious that it was inspired by Fleetwood Mac’s classic sound, with country type guitars and a basic pop rhythms. The lyrics have a way of pulling you into the atmosphere of the music, without being too demanding. It will probably take a couple more listens to absorb more of the meaning behind them, but at first listen, they are very complementary to everything else that is going on musically. The driving rhythm on ‘Kept Me Crying’ and distorted background vocals that sound like Imogen Heap in places give it an edge while keeping the album momentum going into the second half. Something that I noticed after listening to the first half is the completeness of all the songs as a group as well as single tracks. The lyrics in ‘Found It In Silence’ have stood out more than any of the previous tracks, which I feel showcases the wide array of talents that HAIM have to utilize every possible piece of the songwriting process to their advantage in a different way on every song. Radiohead’s ‘Burn the Witch’ comes to mind when listening to the string arrangements and ambience on ‘Found It In Silence’. Powerful leading women like Stevie Nicks and Sheryl Crow can be heard in one way or another on the album so far, which shows the purposeful decision to continue this tradition in music. ‘Walking Away’s vocals have an almost ethereal quality to them that remind me of the Enya/The Cranberries/Sinead O’Connor type. It might just be me hearing all of these different voices in these songs, but I feel like it was intentional by HAIM. The rhythm of the melody almost reminds me of the contemporary R&B sound of The Weeknd. This same influence can be heard on the other lead single, ‘Right Now’, as well as a bombastic style chorus that Imagine Dragons is famous for. At this point in the album it is safe to say that HAIM definitely has something to say, as the album name suggests, and I will definitely be listening to this album again to understand the lyrics in a more meaningful way. The last song on the album, ‘Night So Long’, which I’m guessing is short for So Long and Good Night (insert MCR reference here), is pushed forward by a driving bass, giving a good finality to the record. The reversed vocals and Glass Animals type ambience finishes out the album nicely. This is one of my first real album reviews, so if you got to this point, thank you for giving me a chance to voice my opinion on some new music that I was eager to hear. My current favorite tracks on this album are ‘Found It In Silence’ and ‘Right Now’. I haven’t done a rating yet for anything, and probably won’t because I unfortunately do not have the best teeth in the game, but I enjoyed this record and congratulate HAIM on their continued success.

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