Is the highly anticipated debut worth the wait? Helen Lewington reviews.
Four hit-singles, three captivating sisters, and one chart topping debut album. This is Haim.
The album, released on the 27th September by Polydor Records, consists of 11 tracks, sticking to the unwritten code of about 3 minutes a song, making the album last about 44 minutes in total (unfortunately making it a little too short for a whole revision session approaching the January exams). However, revising with this album in the background would be no easy task, as a majority of the tracks are too catchy for you to not sing or hum along.
Their updated version of classic 70s’ and 80s’ American pop-rock melodies means that these long-haired sisters, who look like they’ve jumped out of a glossy 60s’ magazine, are constantly compared to the geniuses of Fleetwood Mac and the Eagles. But, Haim’s unique selling point is their added element of contemporary digital R&B.
The daughters of two Californian estate agents have told magazines such as NME that their influences are more current than their 70s’ predecessors, the classic soft-rock names they are constantly compared to. These modern influences include the likes of TLC and Azealia Banks. My Song 5, the eighth track on the album, has been criticised for not being in line with the rest of Days Are Gone. But this eccentric number definitely mirrors elements of Destiny’s Child – also noted as one of the girls’ influences.
Their four hit-singles; Forever, Don’t Save Me, Falling and The Wire alone make this album a must buy. But that’s not to say that the rest of Days Are Gone is littered with ‘album fillers’. Each track has its own personality accompanied by Danielle’s (the lead guitarist and head vocalist) velvety snap of a voice and an unusual, yet exceptional, keyboard and percussion arrangement from both Este and Alana. If I Could Change Your Mind is an insanely catchy example of the girl’s immense talent, meaningful lyrics and seamless recordings.
It would be stylistically correct for this review to have a critique relating to the release. Yet, the only criticism I can fathom myself is that the album-titled song ‘Days Are Gone’ just seems to miss the mark on the enduring layered vocals that the girls normally perform in abundance. Whilst this song is still unusual, well recorded with distinctive percussion, it has to be my least favourite on the album, as I lose my interest half way through with its repetitive vocals.
Danielle once turned down a well-paid musical career to focus on Haim, and the music world should be thankful she did. Haim have reinserted the magic of 70s’ and 80s’ rock and modern day R&B, making it stand out from its peers in the charts.