Sunday, July 5, 2020

Advertise
NewsSportsArtsOpinionThe QuadPhotoVideoIllustrationsCartoonsGraphicsThe StackPRIMEEnterpriseInteractivesPodcastsClassifieds

IN THE NEWS:

Tracking COVID-19 at UCLA2020 Racial Injustice Protests

Album review: Imagery, personality on ‘Women in Music Pt. III’ mark evolution of HAIM’s sound

(Courtesy of Universal Music Group)

“Women in Music Pt. III”

HAIM

Universal Music Group

Released Friday

By EJ Panaligan

June 26, 2020 4:58 pm

The Haim sisters are no strangers to bearing their deepest feelings to the backdrop of lush guitars, throbbing bass and rumbling drums.

But the evident maturation of their nostalgic ’70s pop-rock sound – along with some simply incredible vocal moments and reflective lyrics throughout – makes “Women in Music Pt. III” the band’s most confident and exciting effort yet. It’s the perfect soundtrack to uplift listeners from a potentially socially isolated summer.

The album cover, an image of the three sisters dressed in employee outfits in a deli surrounded by a hanging line of sausages, signals a satirical jab at how women in the entertainment industry have long been portrayed – a metaphor for their own experiences. But with its pointed lyrics, this record proves that the Haim sisters have progressed far beyond those oppressive, antiquated constraints.

 

A quick saxophone intro in the breezy “Los Angeles” opens the album as a sort of love letter to the sisters’ hometown, and the tone of its airy guitars matches the carefree vibe of a perfect sunny day in LA. Danielle, the band’s lead singer and guitarist, sings “New York is cold/ I tried the winter there once … nope!” reflecting her struggle to find a sense of home outside of her hometown.

[Related: Album review: Hayley Williams solo debut Petals for Armor is a masterful act of introspection]

An auditory deviation marks the third track, “I Know Alone,” as it explores a techno and synth-laden sound not typically found in past HAIM works. But the track’s brooding aesthetic paired with gloomy lyrics about the way one’s depression can amplify feelings of loneliness reveals a deeper sense of introspection from the sisters.

Moreover, the slow rock feeling of “Gasoline” serves as a fitting backdrop to lyrics about an increasingly toxic relationship and all of the peaks and valleys that come with it. High notes punctuate Danielle’s verses, while sisters Alana and Este harmonize with her on an infectiously calming and sweeping chorus. The metaphor of gasoline comes to symbolize a relationship that could go up in flames at any moment, since both parties are at such an impasse. The execution of concept along with tight lyrics and sonic cohesion make this track a standout in a record full of well-executed tracks.

Yet no other song touches more directly on the album’s theme of blatant sexism in the industry than “Man from the Magazine.” A stripped-back, “MTV Unplugged”-style recording of aggressive, grungy acoustic guitars and minimal bass notes accompanies Danielle’s snarky vocals about being sexualized and reduced by men, journalists and music store employees alike. It’s clear the sisters are tired of the age-old narrative that boys will be boys, and this track embodies the plight many female artists in the industry face to regain control of their voices.

The album’s final track, “FUBT” – a heavy reverb guitar ballad – pieces together a sense of nostalgia for ’90s slow grunge rock, echoing songs like Live’s “Lightning Crashes.” Danielle sings “Either way I’m gonna lose/ So I’m just gon’ keep on loving you,” touching upon the idea that perhaps the most difficult part of a toxic relationship is navigating the gray, in-between area where there’s an unsettling but defeatist sense of animosity for the partner. The track’s somber tone evokes a last-song-of-the-night-at-a-concert sensation that closes out an album of highs on a more reflective note.

[Related: Album review: Halsey takes listeners on her emotional, self-reflective journey in Manic]

Holistically, the Haim sisters have long been musicians that love to wear their influences on their sleeves, but never at the detriment of their harmonious talent. They’ve always been able to conjure up refreshing takes on sounds such as “Rumours”-era Fleetwood Mac or the Dixie Chicks and the Shania Twains of the late ’90s – all which ultimately become singularly HAIM.

And whether it’s the vocal inflections in the verses of “I’ve Been Down” calling back to “Jagged Little Pill”-era Alanis Morissette or the plucky acoustic guitar on “Leaning On You” that is evocative of the Fleetwood Mac classic “Never Going Back Again,” the record has its fair share of influences that pay homage while concurrently pushing the band’s own sound forward.

But the record ultimately traverses vastly new ground for the Haim sisters in pursuit of a diverse, flavorful musical aesthetic. At the same time, their evolution maintains a familiar sense of nostalgia for the retro pop-rock sound they’ve been so deeply attached to. Lyrics of intense loneliness, relationship impasses and sexism in the industry round out some the band’s best songwriting yet.

A collaborative, familial effort from start to finish, “Women in Music Pt. III” proves that the Haim sisters have taken the next steps in their careers – and that sheer talent should be all you need to get by in the entertainment industry.

Share this story:FacebookTwitterRedditEmail
EJ Panaligan | Opinion editor
Panaligan is the Opinion editor for the Daily Bruin and hails from Carson, California. He was previously an Opinion columnist in 2018-19 and an assistant Opinion editor in 2019-20 and wrote about higher education and student life issues. He also contributes to the Arts and Entertainment section and has a fervent love for the Los Angeles-based sister band Haim.
Panaligan is the Opinion editor for the Daily Bruin and hails from Carson, California. He was previously an Opinion columnist in 2018-19 and an assistant Opinion editor in 2019-20 and wrote about higher education and student life issues. He also contributes to the Arts and Entertainment section and has a fervent love for the Los Angeles-based sister band Haim.
COMMENTS
Featured Classifieds
Apartments for Rent

ARIEL COURT APARTMENTS 535 Gayley Ave. PRIVATE STUDIO & ONE BEDROOM APARTMENTS available for Summer & Fall. Walk across the street to campus! Property features 24-hr package lockers, pool, spa, fitness ctr. & parking. Studio from $2,099, 1×1 from $2,400. Specials up to 2 MONTHS FREE! Mention this ad for $0 App. Fee. Call now (310) 208-3818 *** www.arielcourt.com ***

More classifieds »
Related Posts