At the end of last year, Haim topped the BBC's influential Sound Of 2013 poll, ahead of AlunaGeorge, Angel Haze, Laura Mvula and Chvrches. Anyone coming to the California trio's debut album without lending an ear to their previous EPs and singles will probably wonder how that accolade came about: for surely this is music that has less in common with their peer's playlists than with the CD collections of their peer's parents.
Comparisons to Fleetwood Mac have plagued the Haim sisters for some time and, given the retro-poppy core of the songs contained here, that is not likely to change in the foreseeable future. Opening track Falling takes the West Coast vibe and adds a Michael Jackson disco bass and a Florence And The Machine rumble-tumble of percussion, while the stabs of strings and wailing rock guitar on the Wire are fitted over a bump beat that brings to mind T Rex, no less.
It is an over-produced whole, with far too many studio fragments thrown around each track's structure (indeed, My Song 5 is little more than a jigsaw of sounds scattered over a heavy beat and bluesy guitar growl). Thankfully the songwriting itself is classy enough to withstand the label's flashy investments.