HAIM’s “Women in Music Pt. III” is a Breath of Fresh Air

In preparation for the Grammys on March 14th, the Corral will be reviewing every Album of the Year nomination leading up to the awards.

HAIM's

HAIM’s “Women in Music Pt. III” released on June 26, 2020

Trey Williams, Managing Editor

HAIM is a pop-rock band from Los Angeles consisting of three sisters. HAIM have been critical darlings since their 2013 debut album “Days Are Gone”. Their latest album “Women in Music Pt. III” has been similarly praised and is now in the running for a Grammy. Is their latest album a gem, or is it an over hyped bore?

This album is incredible. At 13 tracks (with 11 being slam dunks), this album is dense with great ideas and great synergy between the band members.

My favorite track is “Up From A Dream”. This track might be the most creative song on any Grammy Nominated album from this year. This song is very disorienting, changing from a great bass line to some crazy synths and a distorted, wacky guitar solo. The lyrics tell a clever story with an ambiguous ending. Read the lyrics while you listen to this one.

“Don’t Wanna” is one of the simplest tracks here, but it’s one of the best. This chorus is unbelievably sticky. I’ve sung this so many times since hearing it for the first time. The vocals really make this track, but the guitars and drums are on point as well. This song also builds up nicely into a gratifying finish.

The tracks “The Steps” and “Gasoline” are both very HAIM and very catchy. There are quite a few moving pieces but they come together into such satisfying tracks.

The track “3AM” shows that HAIM is no one-trick pony. This track is funky. The bass is wiggly, the vocals are super expressive, and there’s even a harpsichord. This track somehow goes through eight different phases in three minutes. The way these parts fit together is super unique and impressive.

“I Know Alone” is yet another example of HAIM’s versatility. This track takes a lot of inspiration from more electronic acts, like Burial. I love the chorus and the end of this track especially.

Despite how many songs I like here, there are a couple duds. “All That Ever Mattered” is a disaster. I appreciate what the group were trying to do but it does not work at all for me. The chorus is a mess. There is a warped scream sampled in it and it sounds terrible. While the production is good, and there is an impressive guitar solo at the end, the instrumental and vocals for most of the song are grating.

The opening track “Los Angeles” is also underwhelming. While I like the bright guitars and bass line, this track lacks the freshness of most other tracks here. This song is like a rowdy cousin of an Ingrid Michaelson or Sara Bareilles song. I hope the band goes a different direction from this for the future.

Every other track on this album is fantastic. I am not surprised that the band members are related considering how tightly together the vocals, drums, guitars, bass, and everything else fit together. HAIM’s “Women in Music Pt. III” has catchy songs, creative and varied instrumentation, clever songwriting, and a great atmosphere throughout. This is hands down the best album I have listened to so far. Everyone should give this album a try.

 

Favorite Songs: “The Steps”, “Up From A Dream”, “Gasoline”, “3 AM”, “Don’t Wanna”, “Another Try”, “Leaning on You”, “I’ve Been Down”, “Man from the Magazine”, “FUBT”

Least Favorite Song: “All That Ever Mattered”

Rating: 8.5/10