HAIM - Days Are Gone Review


rating: 4.5

Warning: This review may contain gushing... What makes an album remarkable? A scorching set of tracks certainly helps. But often, that isn't what people remember. The cultish groundswell that has formed around HAIM is powered by personality. These three Californian sisters just want to have a great time and most fans and onlookers were already be hooked by Alana, Danielle and Este's infectious enthusiasm before they knew anything about an album release. They knocked it out of Glastonbury's Park Stage back in June with one of the girls wearing a shirt a fan had thrown onstage, as... a hat... obviously. It is a simple formula: love the girls + love the music = love the album. The point is that shows like X Factor, The Voice and the hazy days of Pop Idol simply cannot churn out genuine charisma and that is why everyone forgets the winners. Lose interest in the person and the battle is lost. It's all about something to remember. There was the Jagger-swagger of The Rolling Stones, then there the slick-haired laid-back Alex Turner from Arctic Monkeys and now here is a 3-in-1 bevy of LA lasses who wear shirts as hats and dedicate songs to David Cameron! The three sisters The album is available in a Deluxe Edition where you can enjoy remixes on CD2 of the 'Standard' tracks that are on the first. The heart slightly sinks that the version you own is deemed standard in any way. Nevertheless, these 10 songs in 40 minutes form the only apparent formula in an otherwise diverse, yet consistently toe-tapping trail of treats. The top three singles are a big start and probably speak for themselves as they are largely responsible for drumming up the procession of admirers they have built up thus far. In producing the debut album inside a year, hopefully the momentum and good vibes from the summer will roll on for the trio. Call it a wacky theory but the Days (that) Are Gone may well be the 80s on the literal level. The synth and drumbeat in the title track, coupled with what feels like distant vocal harmonies seem to see the band look back and reconsider the time that has disappeared behind them. Therein lies the metaphorical level. The following track My Song 5, counter intuitively track 8 on the record, is full of Justin Timberlake-like rhythm and pulsing vocals. It is a surprising and refreshing change-up and a different angle to the widely exposed version of the band's sound on the singles. This may have proven ironic as Alana (@babyhaim) tweeted the morning of the UK release: "WE ARE #3 IN THE UK ITUNES CHARTS!!!! Right behind JT and drake... Exactly where I want to be #myfavoriteboysinthegame #honored #AHHHH" HAIM. Never knowingly underwhelmed. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1TffpkE2GU4 Go Slow, is unsurprisingly the most downbeat (in tempo rather than tone) song on the album but it still retains a distinctly HAIMian percussive cohesion. While Let Me Go continues in that vein before spiralling upwards into encircling repetitions of tripping lyrics such as "I'm not giving up, I'm giving in" and "I will wait, I will want until the day your back again" ending the album with the persistent refrain "let me go, you know I'm not one for leaving". Unlike the voiceless recipient of the song's message; a listener doesn't have to let go and can simply hit play again and give it another spin!
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My written style is quite cheeky because I would rather write something that will entertain, even if it divides opinion!