Alright guys. Here’s the deal. I’m in love. With HAIM. Their album, Days Are Gone, came out today and you should go buy it right now. But let me confess something before we go on. When I first heard their single, Forever, I liked it but was a little put off. I just thought it sounded too much like a Gloria Estefan song, or some other old pop song, but I could never nail it down.
I have since realized the error of my ways. HAIM is like gloriously, awesomely updated 80s and 90s pop music. I have missed good pop music since approximately 2002, when Justified came out (but we will get to that later). Now, HAIM isn’t definitively a pop group. According to Wikipedia, they are a ROCK BAND. I would call them pop-rock. But if you read any reviews of them, you’ll be sure to notice the frequent comparisons to 80s era Fleetwood Mac, or The Bangles, or some good 90s R&B. THOSE ARE ALL THINGS I LOVE. So naturally, I found myself enamored with HAIM.
The group is made of three sisters from LA and a drummer. Fun fact: baby Haim and I share the same birthday (different years). Their parents formed a family band when the girls were still in school. How awesome is that? And their band was called Rockinhaim, hilarious. Anyway, these girls have been playing music together for a long time and it shows.
So, I’ve been listening to their EP, eagerly awaiting the release of Days Are Gone, and the day is finally here. NPR has been streaming the album, so if you aren’t willing to drop $7.99 at iTunes, go take a listen. I really love this whole album, but if I have to pick some favorites, Honey & I is way up there. It’s like Vampire Weekend meets Wilson Phillips in the best way. The album closer, Running If You Call My Name, is also one of my favs. It’s more atmospheric and I think shows the reach that their sound has.
Okay, shift gears a bit. The other good news for pop music is today’s release of The 20/20 Experience: 2 of 2. Honestly, I haven’t listened to the whole thing yet, but I do like Take Back the Night, and trust that in the reign of terror Miley has on pop music, JT will always be better. He definitely has a case of “artists make better art when they’re sad” (don’t even try to tell me Cry Me A River isn’t one of the best pop songs ever), but he’s still the current king. And also, JT + Timbaland forever.
Addendum: After listening to all of part 2, I’m really disappointed in it. This is a great example of the failed double album. As a friend of mine put it, part 2 just feels thrown together. Instead of wasting energy trying to put out two albums, he should have put everything into making one really solid album. The songs on part 2 don’t even work together. Some are really clearly pop tracks, like Not A Bad Thing (which I actually don’t hate), others are hip-hop infused and some are heavier, like Only When I Walk Away (which I do hate). And then. AND THEN THERE IS THIS COUNTRY SONG IN THE MIDDLE. Don’t be fooled, Drink You Away may not sound completely like a country track, but bro, it is. I mean, it’s called Drink You Away. I was also really hoping for shorter tracks on part 2, I don’t know what the fascination is with 8 minute pop songs. COMMENCE CRYING OVER THE END OF JT’S POP CAREER.
Nah, I still got your back, JT, but I expect more from you.