Album review: Haim, Days Are Gone (Polydor)
Sunday 29 September 2013
After a year of generating enough buzz to suggest a reversal in the decline of the world’s bees, LA’s three sisters Haim are now familiar enough to seem like two bands.
One is Haim in person, cracking-wise interviewees whose live form has involved stage-diving, thrillingly rock-ist covers of Fleetwood Mac’s “Oh Well” and, from resident wild card Este, the wickedest “bass-face” since Derek Smalls. The other is the studio Haim, whose tight fist of West Coast melodies, burnished 1980s pop and R’n’B polish packs a direct punch that could, still, benefit from more of the other Haim’s personality.
Granted, Haim whip up yesterday’s cheese into today’s hipster catnip with more panache than most MTV-era revivalists. After “Falling” arrives on a synthetic echo of Ultravox’s “Vienna”, overhauled fragments of Berlin’s “Take My Breath Away” (“Don’t Save Me”), Billy Ocean’s “When the Going Gets Tough” (country-pop bouncer “The Wire”) and Tango in the Night-era Fleetwood Mac (“Forever”) breeze by in bright flurries of snappy snare, sun-bronzed harmonies, soulful vocals (sister Danielle) and bubbly bass-lines: Este’s war-face on, no doubt.
The package is seductive, brimful of hooks – and, with Haim’s wit softened into songs of romantic anomie, so slick it slips down like ice-cream eventually. While newer tracks “My Song 5” and “Let Me Go” snag by throwing surprisingly moody shapes, Martika-esque closer “Running if You Call My Name” sounds like something smoothed for A-list romcom duties.
Days Are Gone cannily equips Haim for that kind of fame, but less familiar routes might be the making of them.
Arts & Ents blogs
St Patrick’s Day 2014: The worst Irish accents in film history
Under The Skin, film review: Scarlett Johansson is full-blooded as femme fatale alien
Grace Dent on TV: EDL Girls: Don’t Call Me Racist BBC 3
Best films on Netflix: 32 movies that will put an end to your scrolling
Chalkie Davies' stunning rock photographs: The Clash, Springsteen, Bowie and more
Katie Hopkins continues campaign to become Britain's most hated talking head with poorly timed Bob Crow tweet
No EU referendum under Labour: Ed Miliband to reveal that vote on membership is ‘unlikely’ in next Parliament if party wins power
Grace Dent: Who cares if she spells it Barraco Barner? Gemma Worrall is more employable than some bookish arts graduate
Europeans have ‘got whiter’ due to natural selection in past 5,000 years, scientists say
The rise of Ukip: Study warns Labour that Eurosceptic party's electoral base now 'more working class than any of the main parties'
Fracking is turning the US into a bigger oil producer than Saudi Arabia
- 1 Is your name now 'banned' in Saudi Arabia?
- 2 Best films on Netflix: 32 movies that will put an end to your scrolling
- 3 Istanbul protesters take 'Ellen selfie' from the back of a police van
- 4 Missing Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370: Jet ‘hijacking’ began soon after take-off
- 5 Lady Gaga has struggled with eating disorders in the past, so it's indefensible that she's glamourising bulimia in her SXSW set