Haim, ‘Days Are Gone’: Album review.

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Haim have taken their sweet time with their first full debut LP since releasing  their ‘Forever’ EP over a year ago. The three track EP, of which two tracks have made the cut for the full LP, drew attention for its consistent musicianship and expert blend of R&B grooves and catchy pop choruses. Haim’s live performances have also drawn critical acclaim as the diversity of the trio allows each member to take the helm at some point during their set. Whether it be a slick guitar solo or taking the mic to lead, the Haim sisters have practised and perfected their craft. I suppose it helps having the unbreakable bond of being sisters and jamming together since you were old enough to hold a guitar. However, Haim’s slick and polished debut album, ‘Days Are Gone’ is quite a contrast to their increasingly brilliant rock n roll live performances.

The album is a master class in pop, R&B and 70s rock. Haim have blended these three genres seamlessly, but perhaps owe pop legends Fleetwood Mac a drink or two. The influence is there for all to see, but instead of falling into the trap of becoming copyists, Haim have stamped their own unique style all over their debut LP. The Haim sisters harmonise effortlessly throughout their well crafted and infectiously catchy songs. Well known fan favourites, ‘Falling’ and ‘Forever’ open the album before their summer pop anthem, ‘The Wire’ strides in with squealing electric guitars accompanied by Danielle’s deep vocals as she sings about the complexities of relationships. ‘The Wire’s’ polished recording exemplifies the contrast between live performance and recording, giving the songs on the album new dimensions when you hear them live, which further adds to Haim’s appeal. ‘My Song 5’ will make for an interesting live performance as it’s by far the most R&B influenced track on the album. It boasts a big bass line carried by a thumping drum beat as well as the sisters producing some of their finest harmonising on the album. That said, it is a bit of a curveball compared to the uplifting singalong chorus found of tracks like ‘Don’t Save Me’ and ‘Honey & I’, and could take some getting used to.

‘Days Are Gone’ will be fighting tooth and nail for the number one spot this weekend against Justin Timberlake’s second album of the year. Haim’s debut can boast more appeal than Justin Timberlake’s recent recycled efforts but it’ll still be a big mountain to climb if the Californian born trio are to beat one of pops heavyweights to the top spot.

8/10

Andrew McClean

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