Filed under: Issue 22, Issue 22 Reviews | Tags: Bing Crosby, She & Him, volume one, Volume Two
Part of our Issue 22 coverage!
WE GIVE IT: 13/20 Watts
PREVIEW: CLICK here to visit She & Him‘s website
She & Him are a static entity. You know exactly what you’re getting from the M. Ward and Zooey Deschanel tag team each time out the gate.
And yet, they’re still interesting. Their sultry-vocal-on-familiar-guitar cycle could conceivably go on forever – or at least until the end of their sophomore effort Volume Two.
Very little has changed between Volume One and Volume Two. Still, they manage to extrapolate their seemingly confined sound into something more polished and sentimental than their last go-around. Deschanel’s persona as an optimistic (yet not naïve) young girl musing about boys never stumbles, from bopping opener “Thieves,” to Bing Crosby-alluding closer “If You Can’t Sleep.”
However, amidst the breezy trails and winding, romantic roads, there is one problem: repetition. The duo employs a generic song construction on most of Volume Two, with echoing, bluesy background vocals. Songs like “Ridin’ in My Car,” “Sing,” “Gonna Get Along with You Now” all have the same elements. Beside breaks like “Home” and the aforementioned closer, some tracks can become almost indistinguishable.
Still, it’s hard to fault She & Him for making similar-sounding songs. They’ve never strived to be more than a pleasant ’50s-vocal-pop pet project, and that’s what Volume Two pursues. Their tasteful execution, even of their modest goals, can be appreciated and in this case, celebrated.
BY John Cassillo