The excitement surrounding this trio of sisters has gained momentum since the release of their EP ‘Forever’ last year. Subsequently, the long-haired rock chicks have put in their fair share of gigs and appearances, supporting Florence & the Machine in 2012 and performing at the majority of the UK festivals this summer. Given the flurry they have caused on the music scene, it comes as no surprise that Haim’s debut album was much-anticipated, scoring them a number one on the albums chart during the week of its release, fighting off Justin Timberlake to the top spot.
Born in Los Angeles, the sisters have created something a bit different amidst an era of The Saturdays and Little Mix – a girl band playing their own instruments. But that’s not all that’s different; the girls have selected music from the past and entwined it with pop music of today to create a refreshingly new sound. Haim are frequently likened to Fleetwood Mac and it’s easy to see why if you listen to ‘Let Me Go’ which gives a nod to the likes of ‘Tusk’.
The album eases you in with previously released catchy hits such as ‘Falling’, ‘Forever’ and ‘The Wire’, all of which have inundated the radio over the past year. ‘Honey and I’ and ‘Don’t Save Me’ show off some summery 80s pop melodies – perfect summer festival tunes.
As the album progresses, it becomes quite apparent that the best songs have been selected for single release or have had frequent air time. The rest of the album seems to have songs that have potential to be huge on stage but are too polished on disc; a prime example being ‘My Song 5’ which is dark and Black Keys-esque but ruined slightly with the harmonies. The title track ‘Days Are Gone’, co-written with British singer-songwriter Jessie Ware, is a slight detour from the 70/80s throwback and has a more 90s R&B groove to it – again, not the strongest song on the album.
For someone who has seen them multiple times on stage, this album leaves a feeling of slight disappointment. Having been treated to their raw and edgy stage presence and performance, Days Are Gone is a little too polished and ‘over-produced”. Whilst Haim have written some irresistibly catchy songs and created infectious melodies, with nods to both previous and present genres of music, this album is drained of the rawness and freshness that makes Haim live so exciting. A poor outcome for a much-awaited debut album, which means you’ll have to go and see Haim live to hear how the songs ought to sound!