Haim’s Something to Tell You is Classic Rock Reincarnated

Haim’s Days Are Gone was an album that took me by surprise – it turned out there’s a contemporary band which sounds like my beloved Fleetwood Mac. By incorporating some fresh twists and quirks here and there, the group could entertain the today’s generation listener as well. After long-ass 4 years of waiting, the girls finally came back in June with a new record, entitled Something to Tell You.

Something to Tell You has an even richer sound than the debut CD. I can feel that lots of love went into producing this charming little thing, the music is so crisp and multi-layered. Yep, ogres aren’t the only ones who have layers. The fact that for some of the recording sessions the band used the facility from the 70s, reminded me of the DVD about Fleetwood Mac’s Rumours from the Classic Albums series (which I got as a gift from my American friend, and I’m still incredibly thankful for it). The documentary was essentially the dissection of that incredible record, with the band and the sound crew analyzing the songs’ technicalities, but also commenting on the emotional foundation of Rumours, and all the tension which almost halted its release. But yeah, they’ve sat down in the studio, played the song tapes, and fiddled with the equalizer slides and buttons, making some sounds louder and toning down the others. Rumours was so deep and vibrant, and Something to Tell You strives for the similar vividness. It doesn’t come up short in any way.

The amazing Stevie Nicks.

The member dynamic in the band is certainly different than in Fleetwood Mac (which at the time was completely messed up to be honest), so the songs are inspired by totally different factors, and thank God for that, as it makes Haim what it is. I probably shouldn’t compare them to FM so much, but heck, they even cover FM songs during concerts so…

Lindsey must be proud

This time round Haim sisters bring to the table everything I’ve come to love them for, so there are more vocal harmonies, more juicy bass lines, more sweet guitar hooks, and more of that mellow vintage rock sound, which dominated the music scene in 70s/80s before glam took over. Danielle, Este and Alana are as charismatic as ever, especially when it comes to work they do, ESPECIALLY when they’re performing on stage. Este’s already famous intimidating bass face and harder guitar & drums accompaniment show how Haim is definitely way rockier live than on albums. Something to Tell You was being written and created while the girls toured intensively, so it might be one of the reasons why it took so long.

I believe the album is the step-up from Days Are Gone. When I first heard Want You Back, Little of Your Love and Right Now I was completely sold, before I even listened to the whole thing. Not going to lie, having seen plenty of kpop dance routines, the dorky choreo in Want You Back music video appears just silly in comparison, but it’s also infatuating and cool in its own way – just like the song itself.

Nothing’s Wrong has that guitar intro which promises one of the best songs off the album, and it delivers.

I was so foolish, I was so blind
Why do we do this to each other, baby

While the lyrics are quite embarrassing, as if it was something out of Hall and Oates or Michael Bolton’s vault (which isn’t always bad), the catchiness of the chorus and the up-beat nature make up for it altogether.

I absolutely adore vocals on Something To Tell You. I’ve seen tons of comments under Youtube videos which complain about Danielle’s voice and her singing style, which somewhat evokes that Michael Jackson’s gasping chika-wow-wow delivery (Shamone I guess?). For me her voice is amazingly soothing and while Danielle’s not a vocal powerhouse, she’s touching all the right strings for me. On Something to Tell You, that MJ thing I mentioned mends perfectly with Este’s funky bass licking. I had that song on the loop for several days.

The booklet unfolds into one big sheet. The pictures are astounding, in particular that Alana’s tongue sticking out photo

You Never Knew is literally like a track from Mirage/Tango in the Night era. If I were to hear it randomly on the radio I’d be sure I’m listening to some AOR 80s radio station. There’s a dreamy background voice, some keyboard and synthesizers. Lyrics-wise, the song is kind of like Haim’s Nothing Else Matters. Heavy touring puts strains on relationships (Was my love too much for you to take?), and in this case, the dude ‘couldn’t take it’.

Right Now was one of the promotional singles and it stands out the most on the album. Organ and piano slowly build up to heavy guitar bursts (You gave me your word BAAM!).

Night So Long is a grim closing track. It deals with loneliness and anxiety, and also partying ways with the lover. This confession-like song contrasts with the rest of the album, as there’s little instrumentation involved, the singer’s alone to say her goodbyes. It perfectly wraps up the album, which clocks at 42:31 (LP and Japanese version include one more song, Water’s Running Dry), and it’s a terrific listen from start to finish.

In addition to the album, this cover has had me excited for weeks, the original is a good pop song, but this version is waaay better.

Although it’s impossible on many levels, it would be nice to be Haim sister. Their music brings back the classic rock sound, there are no embellishments or frills, just pure, unspoiled rock n’ roll. As they used to say, rock n’ roll ain’t noise pollution, Bieber is. I’d rather not wait another 4 years for the next album though, or at least come by to Poland, HAIM!

 

 

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