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.
Review: Imaginative storytelling returns with vigourfilm
Bannatyne leaves Dragon's DenTV
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 Game of Thrones author George RR Martin says 'f*** you' to fans who fear he will die before finishing Westeros saga
- 2 PornHub begs users to stop uploading video clips of Brazil getting beaten 7-1
- 3 Why I'm on the brink of burning my Israeli passport
- 4 L'Oreal cuts ties with Belgium supporter Axelle Despiegelaere after hunting trip photographs
- 5 The true Gaza back-story that the Israelis aren’t telling this week
Sustained immigration has not harmed Britons' employment, say government advisers
War is war: Why I stand with Israel
7/7 memorial defaced on anniversary of 2005 attacks with ‘Blair lied thousands died’ graffiti
Australia facing international condemnation after turning around Sri Lankans at sea
Even when it brutalises one of its own teenage citizens, America is helpless against Israel
Socialist Worker called to apologise over ‘vile’ article saying Eton schoolboy Horatio Chapple's death is ‘reason to save the polar bears’