Sunday, 16 June 2013

Album review:She & Him – Volume 3


   She & Him present a third album, where they give their take on 60's pop very much influenced by girl groups like the Shangri-La's. The group is a collaboration between actress Zooey Deschanel, best know for her role as a ditsy and naive 20-something in everything she’s ever starred in, and M. Ward, who has been steadily releasing his own brand of singer songwriter folk-rock for over ten years under his own name and as part of the 'super-group' Monsters of Folk with Conor Obesrt and Jim James.
   Album opener I've Got Your Number, Son sets out She & Him's agenda of simple, catchy hooks and straight forward lyrics dealing with romance. Its the same template that informs the rest of the album. The next track, Never Wanted Your Love, states 'I'm tired of being clever/Everybody's being clever these days' and she's not trying to be, and its She & Him's down to earth approach that does manage to draw you in when they get it right. Amongst the original songs are a few covers, including Blondie's Sunday Girl and pop classic Hold Me, Thrill Me, Kiss Me, which prove to be fun but unadventurous takes on the originals.
   The album gets weaker as it leads into its second half. Together starts out with a somewhat soulful verse before leading into a chorus that could have come from a musical number for a straight-to-video Disney film, and Snow Queen falls flat where Zooey reveals her cold character over an upbeat rhythm.
   This album won't change your mind about about She & Him if you don't think much of them already, and really it won't blow you away, but as Zooey sung, she’s not trying to be clever and Volume 3 instead stands as a sincere if harmless collection of songs written by two people who are clearly enamoured with an era of pop song-writing. If you're looking for a nice collection of songs to soundtrack a lazy sunny afternoon, then you could do a lot worse than Volume 3.

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