Context – Getting ready for work
I haven’t been this excited for an album release since RTJ surprised us all with an early release of RTJ 3. I haven’t been excited about anything like this since deciding to ride my bike from Chicago to Madison and beginning that training. A lot of emotional investment went into this before I even saw the track-listing, which is ill-advised at the best of times.
However, I think HAIM have definitely come through on this album. I haven’t done a side-by-side to see how it ranks against their debut effort, Days Are Gone, but this feels very much like the band I’ve grown to know and love.
Something to Tell You is a delightful collection of love songs that are earnest and straight forward in their approach, if melodically rich in their execution. Their music has always felt like it was lifted from a different time–I often compare them to Fleetwood Mac for lack of a better comparison–and this is no exception. It’s hard to say which era this album is reaching for, but I have yet to hear anyone else make these sounds in 2017, and like The Gaslight Anthem’s “59 Sound” they leave you feeling nostalgic for a thing you didn’t know wasn’t your own experience.
They just feel good. All of the songs feel good. I don’t know if they’re everyone’s cup of tea, but there’s nothing really objectionable about them except for the occasional drop tuning on their voices as an accent or add-on to the song, which is apparent in the version of “Right Now” presented here. I think it works and helps bring some variety to the album.
If anything sticks out about this album, it would be that it seems to have more production elements involved. The teaser video for the aforementioned “Right Now” featured a very stripped down iteration of HAIM, with everything being simple and straightforward. And while I was looking forward to that direction for the band, having seen them live I know that there’s a disconnect between what the play live and what they put into their studio work.
Not that they drastically change anything, but they remove some of the added effects and maybe a harmony live. There’s only so much that three performers can put into a live performance. These ladies can rock, there’s no doubt about it. But listening to their albums that might now be apparent.
I’m sad that I’ll be missing them when they come to town (Riot Fest before everything), but I’m excited to listen to this album at least five times this weekend. Probably up to seven. Definitely less than ten though, don’t want to spoil a good thing with overexposure.