(Copyright © 2012 Piero Scaruffi | Terms of use )
Days are Gone (2013), 5/10
Something to Tell You (2017), 4/10
Women in Music Pt III (2020), 6/10

Los Angeles' Haim, formed by sisters Este, Danielle and Alana Haim, debuted with the conventional dance-pop of Days are Gone (2013), an album produced by Ariel Rechtshaid that was hyped in both the USA and Europe way beyond its (non-existent) merits. There was little more than syncopated funk-soul-pop (Days are Gone). The hit The Wire sounds like Michael Jackson fronting a blues-rock band.

A bombastic production made it clear whom to credit for their second album, Something to Tell You (2017). Hence the loud and dense sound of Right Now, which sounds like Heart's What About Love without the guitar riffs, and Want You Back, which would otherwise be just a gospel-pop ballad. Rostam Batmanglij of Vampire Weekend fame co-wrote and co-produced the subtle litanies Kept Me Crying and Walking Away.

Surprisingly, Women in Music Pt III (2020), entirely produced by Rostam Batmanglij, showed some musicianship and even some inspiration. If the sleepy ballad I Know Alone and the Prince-esque 3am don't step beyond the cocktail lounge, several songs explore a much broader territory: the harsh country-pop of The Steps with a George Harrison-ian guitar riff, and especially the catchy UB40-esque reggae ditty Another Try. the ethereal folk-rock of Gasoline, the Taylor Swift-esque Don't Wanna, and so on. Maybe derivative and borderline plagiarizing, but at least intriguing. Haim seem suddenly in love with the singer-songwriters of the 1970s. Witness the propulsive Joni Mitchell-esque Los Angeles and Man from the Magazine (the former heavily arranged, the latter purely acoustic and drum-less), the acoustic Gordon Lightfoot-esque lullabye Hallelujah, and the dreamy jazz of Summer Girl with traces of Lou Reed, perhaps their best arrangement yet.

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(Copyright © 2012 Piero Scaruffi | Terms of use )
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