The sisters from The Valley return with their second album and it’s full of lovingly crafted pop-rock and R&B masterpieces
Haim are back with their long-awaited follow-up to 2013’s debut Days Are Gone. This time out the sisters continue to develop their sound, showcasing their love of R&B, 1970s soft rock and pop music. Rarely has a band been so good at absorbing their influences and shaping them into such a defining sound as Haim have done on this album.
Their love of Fleetwood Mac and Destiny’s Child can be heard in the vocal harmonies. Overall, lead singer Danielle’s voice has softened at the edges. Whereas before she would stop abruptly at the end of a line, almost singing the full stop, here she has rounded off the words. This hints at the influence of Taylor Swift and elements of her style can be heard creeping into some songs, especially the title track.
The theme of love, relationships and heartbreak runs deep through the album. Songs like Want You Back, Little Of Your Love, You Never Knew and Kept Me Crying are packed with raw emotion. In fact, all the songs are embedded with passion.
All three sisters have a hand in writing lyrics, and it was Stevie Nicks who advised them to keep diaries for this purpose. Lyrical detail is important when conveying love and the journey it takes you on. It’s also important because it helps separate the songs from all the other love songs written over the decades. The exercise has clearly had the desired effect: the lyrics on Something To Tell You are packed with detail that document the band’s experiences perfectly, and the songs stand alone as brilliant examples of songwriting and the fruits of hard work.
It’s often said that an artist’s second album should show signs of the artist maturing and growing with age and experience – in life and understanding of the industry. This is true of Something To Tell You. However, it’s not like the songwriting on Haim’s debut, which was loose and immature.
Days Are Gone is one of the finest debut albums in existence. But there has been some development; a move forward in the band’s writing, production and sound. Whether it’s down to maturity is up for debate. But it’s likely to be a result of Haim conveying their feelings more effectively through their music. It could also come down to sibling intuition.
What’s not up for debate, however, is the sheer quality of the songwriting on display. This allows Haim to neatly sidestep the dreaded ‘sophomore slump’ and in doing so produce a record that expertly tackles the well-worn subject of love.
Verdict: A lesson in love, relationships and songwriting