She and Him
In December 2011, some of the shine finally came off Zooey -Deschanel, the much-admired -actress and singer, when her seemingly fairy-tale marriage to Death Cab for Cutie’s Ben Gibbard broke up. Deschanel’s more businesslike musical affiliation remains healthy, though, with the Portland singer-songwriter M Ward, and this first album of new material since the split is no soul-baring sob-fest.
Far from it: She and Him remain firmly rooted in upbeat retro pop on Volume 3, Ward creating a warm wall of sound around his partner’s pleasingly immediate songs and surprisingly sonorous vocals. Mostly written by Des-chanel during filming breaks, the 11 new compositions here reveal a refreshing grasp of songwriting, particularly the cleverly catchy I Could’ve Been Your Girl and the evocative easy listening of Turn to White, while her crooning more than adequately copes with the 1950s hit Hold Me, Thrill Me, Kiss Me.
Less inspired is a karaoke-like cover of Blondie’s Sunday Girl, and the occasional flat note and off-key guitar part suggests that the whole record was slightly hurried, between other, more important projects. Well, nobody’s perfect.
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