Showing posts with label haim. Show all posts
Showing posts with label haim. Show all posts

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

video review: 'something to tell you' by haim

Believe me, folks, I wanted to like this as much as anyone. Not precisely bad, but I'm going to forget this exists in a week, I'd put money on it.

Now to cover something I should have covered a few weeks ago... stay tuned!

album review: 'something to tell you' by haim

I'll be the first to admit I was really hard on HAIM the first time I covered them. Again, I can make the excuse that I was very early in my reviewing career on YouTube, and that I probably could have afforded to be a little more deft in my commentary - but I'm also not going to deny that for all of the hype thrown behind this group, I've consistently been underwhelmed by the actual music and songwriting on display.

Which of course is awkward for me to say because on some level, HAIM is the modern mainstream music critic's dream project to review: independent and underground enough to earn hipster points, but not too weird or unconventional to lose the mainstream public - hell they're friends of Taylor Swift, which is an easy namedrop for clicks! They're indebted to folk and indie acts of the past but with a very modern style of songwriting that would win over the poptimist. They had an image that seemed a little more weighty than your average girl group, they all played their own instruments, they were quirky, it's very easy to see why a lot of critics were taken in... and I wasn't one of them. And I'm not saying that to brag, I wish I could have found more to like in the songwriting behind HAIM to really appreciate and get onboard the bandwagon, but outside of specific songs like 'The Wire' - which is awesome and made my year-end lists of the best songs of 2013 - I was just underwhelmed and a little unsettled by some of the implications in that writing.

But again, your average music critic's dream band, so with all the acclaim you'd expect them to have a follow-up ready fairly quickly... and now it's four years later. I'll give them points for two years of touring, but apparently initial studio sessions were unfruitful and it took a lot longer for the band to pull things together - which struck me as odd, given that I never found their arrangements or writing to be incredibly complex or challenging to assemble. But hey, there's an art in blending styles and nailing the formula well, so now that we finally have Something To Tell You, what did we get?

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

video review: 'days are gone' by haim

Wow, review number fifty, and only one of them have broken a thousand views. Eh, this sort of shit takes time, I've accepted that.

Next up is Tyler Farr and the newest update from bro-country. Spoilers, it doesn't end well.

album review: 'days are gone' by haim

You know, for as many solo female acts I've reviewed this year, I haven't actually covered that many girl groups, or at least in the traditional definition of a pop girl group. I mean, the closest would probably be Icona Pop, but that was a duo and after that? Savages and Echo Bench were girl 'bands', not precisely fitting the stereotypical definition of what would be considered a girl 'group' in the vein of, say, the Spice Girls or TLC. 

The truth of the matter is that girl groups haven't been nearly as successful in North America than internationally, where they continue to exist to this day, particularly in j-pop and k-pop. Of the international girl group acts, I probably like the UK-based girl group Girls Aloud the most, almost to the point where I'd consider them my favourite of the genre (although most of the credit must go to top-notch producing team Xenomania). Yes, seriously - as with boy bands, girl groups didn't quite go away in the UK, and while they didn't quite crossover, acts like Little Mix and Fifth Harmony have achieved some minor success stateside thanks to the influence of Simon Cowell. And really, it's only been a matter of time: as soon as boy bands starting coming back, I knew girl groups would be right around the corner.

So with that, let's talk about HAIM (I guarantee I'm pronouncing this wrong however I say it), a group that really toes the line between girl band and girl group, and which broke into public view last year. These three sisters all do play their own instruments, but they claim to draw a lot of their influence from mid-90s female R&B acts like TLC, which is why I stand by the 'girl group' mention. Strangely, though, many critics have drawn the much sharper comparison to not girl groups or girl bands, but to Fleetwood Mac of all things. That, plus the critical acclaim, was enough to catch some interest from me, and I gave their debut album 'Days Are Gone' a listen. What do I think?