California trio HAIM released their highly anticipated second album “Something to Tell You” July 7, an album with an energetic and thought-provoking beginning and ending, but a lukewarm middle. After a four year gap following the release of their smash debut “Days Are Gone,” fans awaited the newest album with bated breath. The three sisters hyped the album on social media relentlessly before its official release, teasing songs, studio pictures and fashion shoots.
The album’s beginning is energetic with singles “Want You Back” and “Little of Your Love” and Fleetwood Mac-influenced “Nothing’s Wrong.” The singles are harmony-heavy and catchy. They wouldn’t be out of place on pop radio, whether the year was 1975 or 2017. “Nothing’s Wrong” jams with the spirit of 70’s rock. Danielle Haim’s guitar licks throughout and Alana and Este Haim’s chanting backing vocals of “Tell me/Tell me,” drives the song.
The album is a collection of songs chronicling failed relationships and the regret, confusion and longing that comes with them. The final two songs end the album on a somber note, offsetting the energetic and dance-inspiring beginning. First single “Right Now” begins with Danielle’s soft-spoken narrative of “feeling I was foolish for ever thinking this could be the one” over a quiet high-hat hiss and synth. A crunching, buzzing electric guitar cuts through a third of the way in, shaking the song to its core before returning to the quiet. “Night So Long,” the album’s final track, is beautiful and contemplative. Danielle’s voice is tired and vulnerable as she resigns herself to loneliness, which she defines as “my only friend” and in the next line, “my only fear.” Her sisters join in, building a chorus around her as gentle guitar and bass strum in the background.
While the beginning and end hold up strong, the midsection of “Something to Tell You” doesn’t deviate far enough from “Days Are Gone” to stand out. Songs like “Ready For You” and “Walking Away” are catchy enough to make you move in your seat while they’re playing, but don’t stick in your head after they’ve been turned off. The only standout tracks in the album’s middle are “Kept Me Crying” and “Found It In Silence.” On “Kept Me Crying,” the mixture of bright sister-harmonies and Danielle’s frustrated lyrics show there is strong middle ground to be found between the bright beginning and melancholy end. The fuzz guitar solo in the middle of the song adds a punch of attitude that could be missing from the other songs. HAIM’s live shows are known for their extended instrumentals and jams. Perhaps, in a live setting, the more forgettable songs could see new life injected into them.
While the band seems stuck in the mold of their debut on some songs, they’ve proven they can break out of it on the opening and closing tracks.
Schae Beaudoin is the life editor for The Daily Campus. She can be reached by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.