Daniel Waterman Daniel.D.Waterman@uwsp.edu
For those not familiar with She & Him, I must first introduce Zooey Deschanel. Yes, that Zooey Deschanel who stars in FOX’s New Girl and has been featured in many Hollywood Movies. Aside from an exciting acting career, she’s also been putting out records with “Him”. In this case the “Him” is M. Ward, the accomplished folk-rock musician who’s had a successful solo career.
Volume 3 is the duo’s fourth album (counting “A Very She & Him Christmas”). Its obvious Deschanel and Ward have a specific formula they use with their songs. Borrowing from Americana, folk, do-wop, rock and roll, and even some Latin influences. They are somehow able to blend many different elements, this allows every track to stand firmly on its own.
M. Ward has served mainly as an instrumentalist and arranger for She & Him since their first release back in 2008. Ward is an extremely talented front-man and soloist, yet he is able to do something that many prominent performers never can.
He shuts his mouth.
He allows Deschanel to stand out. Many of the Harmonies and vocals are sung by Deschanel, M. Ward only contributes when it’s absolutely necessary. Zooey’s voice is timeless. She would be just as popular if she was putting out albums for phonograph in 1913 rather than now.
The album as a whole is exactly what you’d expect from She & Him. It’s smooth, upbeat and poppy (not like a muffin). The groove is something Buddy Holly would approve. Several slower tracks are spread over the album, but it never gets dull. There are always catchy hooks and phrases floating around to capture attention.