She And Him - Volume One
In a few years when we look back on 2008 I wonder if we'll remember it as the year the actress decided to sing? Scarlett Johansson recently released her album of Tom Waits covers. But before that came actcress Zooey Deschanel's album with M. Ward under the She & Him name.
It's tempting to compare She & Him against the Johansson album, but I'll do my best to avoid that trap, because they aren't very comparable.
She & Him is a collection of 13 songs, mostly written by Deschanel with the music provided by Ward. The overall feel falls somewhere between Holly Golightly and old Dusty Springfield.
Deschanel's voice is much like her acting, quirky and charming with a strange innocence. On the album her vocals range from Phil Spector-style '60s girl pop to twangy country. Surprisingly, she handles both with equal aplomb.
The Deschanel-penned lyrics are witty. Often they are self-reflective and lamenting without the schlocky self-pity that can so easily creep inside. She is quite capable of making a clever turn of phrase which makes songs like the lead single "Why Do You Let Me Stay Here?" so damn irresistable.
The musical arrangements provided by Ward do a wonderful job in supporting the vocals and lyrics. His guitar work will be a country twang one moment and a sorrowful weeping homage the next. Add on top some enhancement sounds like the kazoo and whistling and you have a tremendous accompaniment.
Among the 13 tracks are 9 Deschanel originals and three covers: The Beatles' "I Should Have Known Better", Smokey Robinson's "You Really Got a Hold On Me", and as a bonus track, the traditional "Swing Low Sweet Chariot". I'm usually a huge fan of covers, but in this instance they pale in comparison to the strength of the originals.
The She & Him album is entitled Volume One, and on the strength of this record I can not wait until we get to hear volume two.
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on 2010-02-19 KirstenGI23 Said:
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on 2009-02-11 dscanland Said:
How did I miss this album? Come on! An M. Ward project?