She & Him – Volume Two (Double Six) 05/04/2010

April 30, 2010 by  

Zooey Deschannel and M Ward return with their second instalment of happy-go-lucky bliss pop, and it’s pretty alright. Summery, nostalgic, shimmery tracks (and the unapologetic superlatives) are laced with M Wards’ subtle guitar riffs – occasionally reminiscent of Harry Nilsson’s Everybodys Talkin’ – and very much that era, playful and swift against the sweet but never sickly Zooey vocals. For someone regrettably pigeon-holed as a ‘kooky’ star, she does a superb job in her sincere, Patsy Cline’s little sister’s vocals, just like in Volume 1.

Bizarrely, as good as the album is, it’s hardly prolific. Granted, headlines will be made – as they were the first time round – with a lead singer an already successful actress, but there’s no real stand out moment to suggest there will be any further hype.

The album is neat as a collective. It’s a record to sit and wind down a (hopefully) hot summer evening to, yet it’s unlikely you’ll remember a track or even tell the songs apart. Luckily, they’ve released a single as a good guide, and indeed ‘In The Sun’ is a good indication of what to expect, possibly the most jocose and sprightly number.

However, the lack of hype will suit the nature of this album, and the lack of singles should not be apologised for. It’s an album that does its job, an album which seems intended for the aforementioned summer chill out, because their combination of girl group harmonies and 60’s inspired melodies make for an aestival ride, singles or no singles.

Managing to purvey the romanticism of a Camera Obscura record without overcooking it or becoming just too twee is no mean feat, and She & Him have released a polished album that does just that.

If she were to give up the day job, it should be done for him.

[rating:3.5]


Comments