HAIM, Something to Tell You | Album Review
Cali sister trio HAIM returns with their highly anticipated sophomore album, ‘Something to Tell You.’ Overall, it ends up being a respectable effort.
HAIM has returned? Who? For those unfamiliar, HAIM is a trio of sisters from California who got folks buzzing with their debut album, Days Are Gone, released in 2013. After a lengthy hiatus, and gargantuan buzz, lots of folks started talking about their sophomore album, Something to Tell You, long before it arrived. With high anticipation on their side, is Something to Tell You worthy of the hype? Overall, it has some great moments, but isn’t the album of the year.
“Want You Back”
“Want You Back” commences Something to Tell You energetically, setting the tone. The opener successfully blends 80s pop and R&B, with soft rock sensibilities. While “Want You Back” never roars, it’s hip – cool to the nth degree. The chorus represents the best moment, hands down. “Nothing’s Wrong” rolls along respectably, with a clear production palette including guitar, synths, and more 80s cues. Like the opener, the chorus is the crème de la crème.
“Little of Your Love” trumps “Nothing’s Wrong,” incorporating more of a throwback soul sound. This aspect of the production predates the 80s vibe that dominates Something to Tell You, but it’s clear the sisters don’t totally eschew the ear. Interestingly, one of the guitar riffs sounds country-tinged, even going against the grain of the soft-rock touches. “Little of Your Love” is infectious – a hit from start to finish.
“Ready for You”
“Ready for You” contrasts, sounding as if it could’ve appeared on a George Michael album – sound and vibe. Additionally, the sound is reminiscent of The 1975, particularly sophomore album I Like it when you sleep, for you are so beautiful yet so unaware of it. One of the highlights is the bridge section, which similar to 80s trends, goes completely left-of-center of the verses and chorus. Again, the chorus “shines bright like a diamond.”
“I promise I’ll treat you right / Been waiting my whole damn life / Baby, it’s about time / I wasn’t ready for you / Funny how this whole game played / Three years since I learned your name / The wrong time, the wrong place / I wasn’t ready for you.”
Ah, the title track! “Something to Tell You” is another sound number that’s well produced. That said, it’s not particularly game changing or transcendent. The vibe is fine, as is the quality, but it doesn’t necessarily trump the best and make itself stand out. Something that stands out on follow up “You Never Knew” is the bass line. There’s a danceable quality, even though this record isn’t necessarily meant for the dance floor. The 80s continue to the thrive, with the HAIM sisters shining vocally. Once more, the chorus is superb – those harmonies and that vocal production!
“Kept Me Crying”
The soulful “Kept Me Crying” provides a fine change of pace. Grooving with a shuffle feel, throwback vibes slate this somewhere between soul and 70s rock. As always, the production remains one of the best features of Something to Tell You as a whole. The guitars indeed rock! The driving strings of “Found it In Silence” are a great musical choice. Throw in a busy groove and controlled, yet expressive vocals, and all is sound – silence regardless. “Found it In Silence” doesn’t isn’t necessarily the most memorable gem, but good.
“Walking Away” stands out more than “Silence,” thanks to cool, yet feisty vocals by Danielle Haim. This is one of the premiere moments. The quick-paced, staccato rhythmic vocals definitely add the cherry on top. “Right Now” has its moments. A version was originally released ahead of the album, starkly different from this edition. All in all, it’s well-rounded, though not the best of the album. “Night So Long” concludes Something to Tell You slowly and melancholically.
Ultimately, HAIM deliver an enjoyable sophomore effort with Something to Tell You. Being unfamiliar with the trio until now, there is nothing to compare it to. As a new listener it’s respectable, at times incredibly enjoyable, and other times, it fades into the background. Still, there’s enough good material here, even if there’s little that transcends.
Gems: “Want You Back,” “Little of Your Love,” “Ready for You,” “Kept Me Crying” & “Walking Away”