Struggling To Live Up To the Hype
Published: Friday, October 11, 2013
Updated: Thursday, October 10, 2013 00:10
For months, Haim has been considered the band to look out for. These stylish Los Angeles sisters have been rumored to be the creators of an album that will change and challenge all current pop music, and with a No. 1 already in the U.K. album charts, it looks like they are set for international success. This is a beautiful album, but there might be a slight danger here of reputation and rumors overselling the goods.
This 11-track album, Days Are Gone, contains many easily identifiable hits: the ’80s revival pop meets rock-and-roll sound is unique and refreshing. In the context of current pop, Haim has successfully created an independent and interesting album. The contrast between their L.A. bohemian-hipster look and electro sound makes them stand out.
On top of that, the lyrics make for consistently satisfying listening, and bring the whole album together. We hear Danielle’s confession of being unable to deal with first love in “If I Could Change Your Mind.” Eight tracks later in “Let Me Go,” we hear the sisters struggle with a difficult relationship, telling the boyfriend over a heavy bass guitar to, “Let me go, you know I’m not the one for leaving.” Not one song falls into the cliched realms of pop music: When love and relationships are in question, the lyrics do so with a unique and more stripped-back sound. The harmonies are beautiful and relaxed, and the album is perfectly produced.
However, having listened to the album, I can’t help but feel that something is missing. Maybe it’s the fault of all the hype, but after hearing all the songs, I wasn’t left feeling very different. After an extended listen, the songs start to merge into one similar tune. In part, the track order is to blame. The album starts with a powerful punch, putting the catchy and energetic songs such as “Falling,” “Forever” and “The Wire” first. These tracks have motivating rhythm and catchy lyrics. But as the album continues, Haim begins introducing more of their slower songs with more repetitive lyrics, when they should be maintaining that impressive energy throughout. This variety is great, but somehow, as an album, it leaves you feeling as if you missed the point.
Despite these slight weaknesses, Haim are still definitely worth a listen. As a debut album, Days Are Gone is unquestionably a success, and this band is no one-hit wonder. This album needs to be on your playlist, but listen to these tracks by themselves, because they deserve that personal attention rather than being lost in the mass of the album. If nothing else, Haim deserves praise for managing to bring back the ’80s and making it cool.