Haim's second record Something to Tell You opens with "Want You Back," which is arguably the track that sounds most like the band circa their debut album Days Are Gone. It seems as though it's intended to ease us into Haim 2.0, which is—fans of their glossy rock sound might be pleased to hear—the same, but different.
The band knows what works for them—R&B girl-group influenced harmonies with a perpetual, Fleetwood Mac-worshipping classic rock sensibility—and what really comes through on album two is how much they've grown into those assets. The harmonies are fuller, the musicianship more accomplished (listen to Danielle shredding at any point and you'll know what I mean), and it sounds especially cool because three-part harmonizing placed alongside guitar solos in this way is a rare treat in mainstream music. Some will be disappointed at the lack of pop tracks that leap out at you on first listen as on Days Are Gone (though Haim show us that they've still got the stuff to write a rager on "Little of Your Love," if you were in any sort of doubt), but Something To Tell You is a more cohesive, slow burn of a record than their first, and will benefit from repeated listens to its whole, rather than to its singles.
The first new song revealed to us in the lead up to the album was second-half highlight "Right Now," and now that the record is here, that choice makes a lot of sense. The song is low-key and more emotionally raw than a lot of Haim's past offerings (it's kind of the spiritual daughter of "My Song 5" from Days Are Gone), and for many, it didn't click immediately the way that Haim songs always have in the past, with their hooky choruses and sunny riffs. But with time, the song revealed itself as a complicated pop-rock ballad with the sisters exploring new avenues, and for this reason, it's representative of Something to Tell You as a whole.
The album is definitely Haim—the glossy production, staccato vocals and surging guitars are all in place—but they're in a different order now. They're broader. They've been complicated by a less instantly accessible banger-after-banger album structure. And for a band who had Days Are Gone to live up to, keeping everything that was good, but digging into those things a little further, seems like it's a strategy that might not work on first listen, but that'll really shine on your third or fourth time through.
You can listen to Something to Tell You below and make your own mind up, though.
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(Image via PR)