She & Him - She & Him: Vol. 1
Label: Merge Records
By: Patton
Aug 24 08
   6 Comments



Another actor has entered the musical realm, this time Zooey Deschanel is the one making the tunes. Unlike Scarlett Johansson who did an album of Tom Waits' covers, or Lindsey Lohan who decided to try and be a pop princess, Deschanel has collaborated with M. Ward, an acoustic connossieur of sorts. Zooey is probably best recognized with her work in the films "Almost Famous," "Elf" (she's the cute girl that sings) and "The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy," whereas M. Ward is best known for his music collaborations with bands like Bright Eyes, Cat Power and Jenny Lewis.


"... a boy and girl choir hell-bent on making music the old-fashioned way: by hand - and with as few machines as humanly possible."


The web site's biography page explains the sound of the album perfectly as "... a boy and girl choir hell-bent on making music the old-fashioned way: by hand - and with as few machines as humanly possible." Her voice isn't over-grandiose and the harmonies with Ward remind one of a simple folk album, the way they used to be made. On songs like "Sweet Darlin" and "I Was Made For You," the blend of the Deschanel's voice and the choirs makes the listener feel as if they are doo-whopping in the early sixties. The album isn't overly produced and though Deschanel doesn't have a very strong voice, the genre in which she chooses to represent it is a good fit.

The songs have titles that give off a romantic love feeling such as "You Really Gotta Hold on Me" and "Sentimental Heart." Sometimes the lyrics come off a bit "cutesy" almost too much and can come off trite to the general listener.

"When things were a little bit clearer
When you got nearer
I shied from your touch
Now that I know what I want, see,
I think that it haunts me,
I want you too much ..."
("Sweet Darlin" track 12)


The duo tries several sounds to show they aren't just a one-note band and may even have more "volumes" of music to share with us.


The duo tries several sounds to show they aren't just a one-note band and may even have more "volumes" of music to share with us. The simplistic recording of the album and the sweet, playful lyrics as well as the ease and chemistry between Ward and Deschanel, makes this album worth giving a try, unlike most actors turned musicians' albums. My favorite track is the last one, "Untitled," it is Deschanel singing "Swing Low Sweet Chariot" with a light girl's choir behind her and with a beautiful wave sound. Perhaps it is because there was a thunderstorm the first time I listened, or it is simply the best example of how good this record is. Check out these links below for more information on the band:

http://www.myspace.com/sheandhim
http://www.sheandhim.com
http://www.mergerecords.com






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