Album: Days Are Gone
Haim consists of three sisters from Los Angeles in their mid-twenties, all within a couple years of each other, whose last name is Haim. Emerging with a string of singles over the last year, Haim has finally released its debut album “Days Are Gone,” and it does not disappoint at all.
A couple of weeks ago saw the release of CHVRCHES’ debut album “The Bones Of What You Believe.” Similar to Haim, CHVRCHES rose to prominence over the last year or so by releasing a string of great pop songs. Whereas CHRVCHES’ album failed to rise above its singles and felt like little more than filler around the songs we already knew, “Days Are Gone” shows exactly what a pop album should be: All the great singles are here, but the album as a whole is more than the sum of its parts and outshines the singles.
Haim frequently gets compared to Fleetwood Mac, and there’s good reason for that. Female vocals and harmonies are at the center of “Days Are Gone.” The three sisters are also all great instrumentalists, and their guitar and bass work often evokes the mid-70s era Fleetwood Mac that released the trifecta of “Fleetwood Mac,” “Rumours” and “Tusk.”
Even more than that though, “Days Are Gone” is a ridiculously catchy, fun, danceable pop album about relationships, heartbreak and loss— a formula Fleetwood Mac absolutely perfected on the musically incredible, emotionally brutal “Rumours.”
While songs like “Honey & I” and “Don’t Save Me” exemplify the Fleetwood Mac tendencies in Haim, they have often cited groups like TLC and Destiny’s Child as big influences. Second-half songs like the title track and “My Song 5” exhibit clear R&B influences, from the staccato falsetto of the chorus on “Days Are Gone” to the thudding bass line and syncopated drums of “My Song 5.”
There’s more to Haim and “Days Are Gone” than its influences, though, and labeling the band as Fleetwood-Mac-filtered-through-90s-R&B doesn’t do it justice (although that label alone would pretty much sell me on a band).
The three sisters co-wrote and co-produced every song on the album, and all three also receive production credit for the album as a whole. This makes a couple things pretty clear.
One, Haim are excellent songwriters. There’s not a single bad song on “Days Are Gone.” Two, Haim knew exactly what it was doing making this album.
Slower songs like “Go Slow” are placed between more upbeat ones like “My Song 5” and the fantastic “Let Me Go.” The middle section of the album is sequenced to flow smoothly from more Fleetwood Mac/folk-rock sounding tracks into the more R&B leaning stuff of the second half. The final track, “Running If You Call My Name,” is a great closing track and sums up the album musically and lyrically.
The album opens with the three original singles back-to-back, a gutsy move on a pop debut, but Haim bet that the rest of “Days Are Gone” would hold up. And they were right. In a way that is rare for a debut, Haim shows that it knows how to make both songs and albums.
There are some times when I think that writing about music is superfluous. Listening to “Days Are Gone” is one of those times. I can tell you that I’ve been listening to the album on repeat since I got it, more than once a day for the last week or so. I can tell you that it makes me sing along and dance around in my chair while I’m trying to write this.
I can tell you that Haim likes Fleetwood Mac and Destiny’s Child. I could write something about how an album called “Days Are Gone” which is full of summery pop tunes with nostalgic lyrics about relationships ending is the perfect album for that time between the end of the summer and the beginning of fall, which seems to be finally happening here in Cleveland.
But really, “Days Are Gone” is just an album that you should listen to and that’s all.