The world’s a very different place to what it was when HAIM made an eager and innocent music world swoon with their debut album in 2013, so what can the Californian trio add to 2017? The answer, to put it plainly, is pretty much more of the same, so that’ll be welcome news if you loved Days are Gone, and not if, well… you didn’t. “With nowhere to live when they came off the road, they returned to familiar territory – setting up shop at their parents’ house,” reads the bumph accompanying the album, and it mostly shows. There’s plenty to like about the title track, the soaring ‘Nothing’s Wrong’, and lead single ‘Want You Back’, while value could be added by thrusting a foot instead of merely dipping a toe into points of difference on the funky and soulful ‘You Never Knew’ or the almost sludgy glam of ‘Kept Me Crying’. Andrew Innes of Primal Scream once told this reviewer of the sisters’ ability to harmonize and read each others’ movements as something that can only come from playing music together their entire lives, and he’s probably right. Knack with a melody: check. Respecting the lineage of ’70s and ’80s pop and soft-rock: check. Keeping it all relatively safe: check. The formula is clear and apparent, but there’s magic in HAIM’s particular formula, so, if it ain’t broke, why fix it?
For The Brag