HAIM’S SECOND ALBUM REVELS IN ITS RETRO CHEESE
Josh BellThu, Jul 13, 2017 (midnight)
Three and a half stars
Haim Something to Tell You
Haim’s second album might be titled Something to Tell You, but its breezy lyrical content (heartbreak, romance, romantic heartbreak) doesn’t exactly have a ton to say. That’s perfectly fitting, though, especially in an era when even the most frivolous pop stars seem determined to make (often misguided) political statements. By unironically embracing the lush sounds of ’80s soft-rock and ’90s adult contemporary, the sisters Haim (Este, Danielle, Alana) have succeeded at making the uncool cool, and Something revels in its retro cheesiness.
But that’s what makes it such a fun listen: “Nothing’s Wrong” and “You Never Knew” sound more like ’80s-era Christine McVie-led Fleetwood Mac songs than McVie’s own recent album with Lindsey Buckingham;
“Ready for You” has a soulful George Michael vibe with soaring harmonies and an anthemic chorus; the strings-driven “Found It in Silence” has a slight country-pop twang; “Kept Me Crying” shows off Danielle’s old-school guitar chops; and ethereal, minimalist album closer “Night So Long” evokes ’90s Sarah McLachlan. Through it all, the sisters balance their sharp musicianship with slick production and catchy hooks (although nothing’s quite as catchy as breakout hit “The Wire”). It’s a lovely, blissed-out pop throwback.