This follow-up to their first-rate 2013 debut Days Are Gone shows a band having embraced a certain style, and enhancing it. They’re not skewing from either their influences or their strong suits, so it shows solid, if not stunning promise for greatness down the road.
‘Nothing’s Wrong’ explores similar thematic territory (“How could you tell me nothing’s wrong/ It was good but now it’s gone…”) but throws a touch of country twang in there. This is an album wearing its influences on its sleeve, and managing to swing from style to style with the flourish of a musical Tarzan. ‘Little of Your Love’ infuses their sound with a thick Motown-style tempo, with more than a tip of the hat to the sonically similar Taylor Swift. ‘Ready For You’ could easily be found on a mid-80s rom-com soundtrack album; ‘Something to Tell You’ is also deeply rooted in the traditions of 80s American balladry. ‘You Never Know’ starts off sounding like an off-cut from Michael Jackson’s Off the Wall, but finds its way to a mid-tempo Fleetwood Mac album track… all the while with a style of its own.
This is jukebox classicism; perfectly accessible without being reductive or disposable. It’s part of what made Days Are Gone such a cavalcade of earworms. Lead singer Danielle Haim’s vocals are the type you could find on any number of American pop outings, but it’s the underlying musicianship found throughout the work that makes it stand out – that and the myriad techniques applied throughout by producer Rostam Batmanglij (a fine moniker that, as well as his own indelible impression having been made of records by Vampire Weekend and Discovery).
‘Kept Me Crying’ doesn’t pull many punches, but its production and execution which makes it more than just a sad song of regret and pain. The fat guitar licks will help, as do the orchestrations on album highlight ‘Found it in Silence’.
As an album, Something to Tell You is one filled with longing, reflections on disloyalty, as well as the endless back and forth coming from regrets stemming from words left unsaid.