Now, after their last release in 2017, fans were dying for round three of HAIM; thus, once there was talk of a new record: the world went crazy. Let’s dive in to see if this album was worth all the hype it received. I hate to spoil anything before dying into the specifics of a record, but with this one, I can’t help it: Women in Music Pt. III? Sensational. So, what makes this album stand out? When listening to this record from front to back, it is heard that the trio is utilizing the difference of their vocal timbres just beautifully. They support these color tones with balanced background instrumentals that create soft or slightly progressive grooves that just make it feel as if the vocals are just gliding and floating on top of this scope of sound. The instrumentals that are located on the record toy with contrast in terms of sound, silence, and overall support. These moments help to pay homage to different musical genres aside from the genres the trio normal resides in. The most notable outside influence would be the inclusion of the soft jazz moments with saxophone interludes and statements, which interject (most often) in a manner that contradicts the vocal line. This helps to broaden each track, while also challenging the ear, for the stretching of musical influences makes the work more memorable, and makes the listener more intrigued, for they are listening to tracks that don’t follow one specific make, mold, nor genre. Overall, I am giving this album a 4.5 out of 5 stars. I am giving this record such a score, for the vocals are breathtaking (no surprise there), the music is enticing, intelligent, and honestly, other than the HAIM discography, there isn’t anything else like it in the music scene. This record will make waves in the most moving way- iconic.
“Los Angeles”, “All That Ever Mattered”, and “The Steps”
Now, if I am speaking honestly, it was very difficult to select which tracks stuck out amongst the pack, but the hard challenge had to be completed, and these are the lucky ones. These works ultimately stuck out, for I believe they are the moments on the record that drive the key factors of HAIM, and they just glisten and float on top of the release. HAIM is known for their alternative-pop-indie approach to music that is uniquely characteristic to them. They are able to drive this while adding dashes of other musical influences while toying with the different timbres of each member’s voice. These named tracks place listeners deep in the world of HAIM, and makes them want to hear more. So, if I were you, I would listen to the entire make from front to back, but if you want a place to start: start here.
At first glance, listeners know they are about to jump into the world of HAIM by the cover on its own. The cover depicts the trio in a retro diner, food place of sorts. They have small puns represented on old fashioned signs hanging up around the location, and the title of the record falls in the same category. Let’s turn to see if this matches the music that falls on the inside. When listening to the album, it is apparent that the trio is driving a modern but heavily nostalgic vibe throughout the entire make. This is evident through the instrumental colors and tones heard through, which waver to enhance the specific vocal tones that are in the forefront. This mixture with nods to various musical genres places listeners in a relaxed state driven through “older” musical influences. This approach to the album connects to the retro vibe of the cover art, for this record feels very 2020 meets a soft blend of the 1960s and 1980s. In general, I would say that the connection doesn’t make the album flourish, but that doesn’t tarnish the record in the slightest. The music of this album is completely sensational on its own, and the soft connection to the cover is enough.
*”Women in Music Pt. III” was released on June 26th, 2020 through Columbia Records.