HAIM’s Women In Music Pt. III Album Review
By Tyler Asay
On Friday, the sister-trio band Haim released their new album, Women In Music Pt. III, which is their third after 2013’s Days Are Gone and 2017’s Something To Tell You. It continues their trajectory of sunny, west coast pop-rock while pushing the boundaries of what it means to be a pop-rock band in 2020. This time around, Danielle, Este, and Alana were joined by producers Ariel Rechtshaid and Rostam Batmanglij for their most diverse and exciting collection of songs yet.
Haim has been dropping singles from the album for over a year now, which started last summer with the Lou Reed-influenced, “Summer Girl,” and continued with mid tempo pop flex “Now I’m In It” and the somber “Hallelujah.” Those three songs are tacked on to the end of the album and act almost like bonus tracks within the universe of WIMPIII.
Haim might be one of the best “singles” bands that exist. The release of the Westerbergian rocker “The Steps” signalled a new album was imminent, a driving force of dual guitars and the band’s signature blood harmonies. Along with the garage-house dance track “I Know Alone” and hook-laden classic rock jam “Don’t Wanna,” these songs will age beautifully with their earlier classics such as “The Wire” and “Little Of Your Love.” Haim will eventually be able to compile the greatest “greatest hits” collection of the 2010’s.
That’s not to discredit the rest of Women In Music, Pt. III, however, which happens to have the best deep cuts of any Haim record. “Leaning On You” takes influence from Rumours-era Fleetwood Mac, and “Another Try” has the trio leaning on dub and reggae. Opening track “Los Angeles” is an ode to the band’s hometown, and it evokes driving on a summer day with drifting piano and rotating drums.
The themes that revolve around WIMPIII consist of how women are treated within the music industry, especially on the Joni Mitchell-influenced “Man From The Magazine,” which includes the lyric:
Man from the music shop, I drove too far
For you to hand me that starter guitar
“Hey girl, why don’t you play a few bars?”
Oh, what’s left to prove?
It also deals with the emotions that cut into a close relationship, especially how it feels to be depressed even if you are with somebody you love, like on “I’ve Been Down.” If you don’t include the bonus tracks, the album closer is “FUBT” (which stands for “fucked up, but true”), a backwards love song that rounds out WIMPIII.
Haim has always been a pop band with high ambitions, and those ambitions come to fruition on Women In Music, Pt. III. Their best album yet, it’s a sparkling blast of sunshine that sounds like a light at the end of the tunnel in 2020.
Haim’s Women In Music, Pt. III is out now on Columbia. Listen below:
More about the Author: Tyler Asay is a music writer & musician. He is the singer/songwriter for indie-rock band, The Tisburys. He can usually be found at Main Street Music or Dawson Street Pub. Bruce Springsteen is his hero. Twitter | Instagram | Email