If you leave four years between your first and second albums, expectations for perfection will be at an all-time high. We've felt this crazed anticipation more than once this year, with old favorites like Bleachers and Lorde finally making their comebacks. Now, L.A. trio Haim
are back in the spotlight with their 70s-inspired LP, Something To Tell You
. Danielle, Este and Alana gave diehard Haim fans exactly what they wanted to hear, but maybe that's not such a good thing.
What was so exciting about Haim four years ago was that they were a band of sisters making effortlessly cool, technically profound indie rock. You could hear the variety of influences in each one of their songs - they knew what they wanted to sound like and they executed it almost perfectly. Something To Tell You
has moments that resonate with the sweet melodies and insanely catchy hooks of Days Are Gone,
but there's still something missing from this second album.
"Want You Back" and "Something To Tell You" are the album's clear standouts because they sound so familiar, like sunny California summer wrapped up into rolling drums and dreamy harmonies. On "You Never Knew," the trio sounds like a surprisingly good hybrid of Prince and Fleetwood Mac. Something To Tell You
is much more mellow than the band's debut album, but it's also much more polished. Days Are Gone
felt unlike anything else at the time because every song had such a natural vibe, like they were barely touched in the studio. This time around, the band feels overly produced and a little bland.
There isn't much about this record that feels risky. Four years left plenty of time for Haim to experiment and develop a new side to their already recognizable sound. Instead, the band leans heavily into their pop sensibilities with tracks like "Walking Away" and "Little of Your Love." Both sound vaguely like Sara Bareilles songs, and probably won't be in the running for another A$AP Ferg collab.
Something To Tell You
is by no means a bad album - it's a great summer release that's catchy as hell and an easy soundtrack for long road trips. But if you listen to the record enough times, at a certain point every song starts to sound the same. It won't leave you underwhelmed, but it definitely won't leave you overwhelmed either. It looks like Haim got a little too comfortable with playing it safe.