Once upon a time, HAIM were just another group of musical sisters who had a band. Then came hit single “Don’t Save Me”, friendship with the likes of Taylor Swift (and appearing on her hugely popular Instagram feed), playing not only Saturday Night Live but also the 40th anniversary after-show with Prince, and much more. The group kind of became more famous than their music, and 2013 debut album Days Are Gone (QRO review) was good, but not great. Their music still stands in the shadow of their fame on follow-up Something To Tell You, but it also does better their seventies era emotion.
Even in these days where everything old is new and even the most ancient is instantly accessible, HAIM’s sound is a throwback, specifically to the pop-emotion of the seventies. On Something To Tell You, this is clearly done best with opener/lead single “Want You Back”, which equals “Don’t Save Me” in catch, and embraces that emotion. The record largely oscillates between better and not as memorable pieces in that style, with the introduction of modern synthesizers on “Right Now” a poor choice that’s thankfully limited to that one song.
Like Days Are Gone, Something To Tell You isn’t a ‘game-changer’ or a revelation, and HAIM’s fame is still their primary calling card. But just taken on its own merits, it is a sweet and charming album.