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Alternative en Indie - Verschenen op 28 november 2014 | Columbia

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Indiepop - Verschenen op 28 oktober 2016 | Columbia

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Folk - Verschenen op 24 oktober 2011 | Merge Records

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Pop - Verschenen op 25 april 2018 | Legacy Recordings

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Rock - Verschenen op 12 april 2010 | Merge Records

It’s hard to be ambivalent about Zooey Deschanel. She’s a polarizing personality, one whose deadpan movie roles and big Bambi eyes are either charming or too cute for their own good. The same can be said for She & Him, a soft rock duo that features Deschanel doing what she does best as a film star: acting utterly adorable alongside a quiet, talented male character. Her co-star in this case is M. Ward, who produces the band's second album and frames Deschanel’s voice with a Spector-sized pile of instruments. Those who already take issue with Zooey’s acting will almost surely pick this record apart -- it’s too reminiscent of her cutesy turns in movies like (500) Days of Summer to change many minds -- but for fans of retro pop (and Deschanel in general), Volume 2 is a gem. Whether they’re copping the Brill Building sound or resurrecting ‘70s beach-pop, She & Him always seem to have nostalgia on the mind. These 13 tracks hail from an imaginary, sepia-toned world in which Richard Carpenter is king and Ron Burgundy is on the tube, and even a handful of contemporary references (“Talking on the phone and watching Cribs/He doesn’t know what kind of guy he is”) does little to transport the listener back to the 21st century. Like the previous album, Volume 2 would suffer under the weight of its own pastiche if it weren’t so darn endearing, filled as it is with call-and-response vocals, studio reverb, sweeping orchestrations, and other bygone tricks of the trade. Deschanel still has some flaws as a vocalist -- her twang sometimes gets the best of her, pushing parts of the melody flat -- but she smartly plays to her strengths, with a hint of vibrato and a sly, audible smile coloring her best performances. “Love like ours is terrible news, but that won’t stop me crying over you,” she sings at the end of “Thieves,” her voice fading out into M. Ward’s sweeping Wall of Sound. This has all been done before, perhaps, but that’s the whole point, and Volume 2 ends up being a breezy tribute to the group’s influences. © Andrew Leahey /TiVo
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Rock - Verschenen op 18 maart 2008 | Merge Records

She is actress Zooey Deschanel; Him is alt-singer/songwriter M. Ward. The two met on the set of a movie, found some musical common ground, and began working together. Volume One is the resulting album and it's one of the better albums made recently by a movie star, male or female. Good enough, in fact, that it even heads off the obligatory suspicions that she only got to make a record because she was a Hollywood star. After a few spins of the album, one could make a compelling case that Deschanel could quit her day job, or at least justifiably call herself an actress/musician. The common ground that the duo explores on Volume One is a sweet place where light-'60s pop meets strummy country tunes and candy-coated folk, a mythical meeting place between Sandie Shaw and Tammy Wynette with cameos by Richard & Linda Thompson. Deschanel's songs are simple and sad tales of heartbreak and missed connections, with hooky melodies and not a single artless moment to be found. For sure, there's not a single instance that sounds like she got the gig because of who she is instead of what she can do. Even if her songs were weak, her strong, assured vocals would carry the day. Sweet and rich with no annoying folky warble, she can croon ("Take It Back"), cry ("Sentimental Heart"), be playful (the bubblegum snappy "I Was Made for You"), or just sweep you off your feet with sweetness ("Sweet Darlin'," which she co-wrote with another artist who overcomes his Hollywood roots, Jason Schwartzman). As for Ward, he keeps his quirks mostly to himself, providing sympathetic backing unadorned by the kind of tricks and gimmicks that make his own albums slightly uneven. The occasional whistle here or slightly unconventional string arrangement there are the only traces of his usual artistry on Volume One. The rest of the time he and the band (which includes the ubiquitous Mike Mogis) create a soft, gentle feel equally inspired by the Brill Building and the Countrypolitan sound of Nashville in the late '50s. The only place the album falters is on the two covers the duo attempts. Deschanel doesn't add much to "You Really Got a Hold on Me," and Ward's backing vocals are just the kind of affected, arch singing she avoids elsewhere. Their take on the Beatles' "I Should Have Known Better" is better, but still awfully close to a novelty. The album would have been more successful without both tracks, but even with them, it stands as a nice coming out party for Deschanel. If you run screaming at the thought of singing actresses, give She & Him a chance and they might calm your fears. You may even forget the origins of the singer and simply be charmed by the singing, the songs, and the sounds found on Volume One. © Tim Sendra /TiVo
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Pop - Verschenen op 13 mei 2013 | Merge Records

Always looking backward to the sunny sounds of the '60s, She & Him often feel like a band out of time, a pair of pop dreamers born too late to be a part of the musical scene they've painstakingly crafted a pastiche of with their third album, Volume 3. Like the previous two volumes, the album finds collaborators Zooey Deschanel and M. Ward diving headfirst into the sunny, lovestruck sounds of Brill Building pop with a splash of country twang for good measure. While this means the album doesn't do a lot to distinguish itself from the pair's early efforts, it certainly doesn't diminish its effortlessly enjoyable sound. In a way, this kind of anonymity seems like a part of the bands M.O. Sure, both of the players here are famous in their own right, but rather than slap their names on the album, they gave the project a perfectly pleasant, albeit generic name. And rather than giving the albums a cute title, they're given the archival title of "Volume." All this speaks to a desire to simply let the music exist on its own, classically pop, terms, allowing listeners to get swept up in a song like "I Could've Been Your Girl" not because it has that lady from the movies in it, but because it's the kind of breezy, melancholy pop that's really easy to fall in love with. Three albums (plus a Christmas record) in, you're either on board with what She & Him are doing or you aren't, and if you're stone-hearted enough to not be into the band by now, Volume 3 isn't likely to sway you. However, for those of you already caught in the band's spider web of eternal summer, this album delivers the goods. © Gregory Heaney /TiVo
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Alternative en Indie - Verschenen op 4 november 2014 | Columbia

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Alternative en Indie - Verschenen op 8 december 2014 | Columbia

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Pop - Verschenen op 2 december 2013 | Merge Records

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Pop - Verschenen op 25 april 2018 | Legacy Recordings

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Alternative en Indie - Verschenen op 27 oktober 2014 | Columbia

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Alternative en Indie - Verschenen op 30 oktober 2014 | Columbia

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Rock - Verschenen op 23 februari 2010 | Merge Records

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Folk - Verschenen op 7 december 2010 | Merge Records

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Alternative en Indie - Verschenen op 10 november 2014 | Columbia