CD Volume Two [Digipak] [She & Him] (CD 6300758),
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Volume Two [Digipak] [She & Him]
She & Him
2. In the Sun
3. Don't Look Back
4. Ridin' in My Car
5. Lingering Still
6. Me and You
7. Gonna Get Along Without You Now
9. I'm Gonna Make It Better
11. Over It Over Again
12. Brand New Shoes
13. If You Can't Sleep
Manufacturer Part Number (MPN): MRG354
Kendra Lynn; Mike Coykendall; Mike Mogis
Personnel: M. Ward (guitar, mandolin, synthesizer); Peter Broderick, Tom Hagerman, Amanda Lawrence (strings); Zooey Deschanel (piano); Mike Mogis (synthesizer, percussion); Scott McPherson (drums, percussion).
Audio Mixer: Mike Mogis.
Recording information: ARC Studios, Omaha, NE; Blue Rooms, Portland, OR; Jackpot!, Portland, OR; The Village, Los Angeles, CA.
Being half of She & Him allows Zooey Deschanel to do what she does best as a film star: act 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. Whether they're copping the Brill Building sound or tackling `70s beach-pop, the two always have nostalgia on the mind. These 13 tracks seem to 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") do little to transport the listener back to the 21st century. Like the previous album, Volume 2 might 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 is still finding her footing as a vocalist, but she smartly plays to her strengths, with a hint of vibrato 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 tuneful tribute to the group's influences. ~ Andrew Leahey
Rolling Stone (p.78) - 3.5 stars out of 5 -- "The songs are all wistful....It's the sunniest sad record you'll hear all year -- pretty love songs set in a 'nation' where summer never ends."
Spin (p.82) - "Deschanel is a convincing soft-rock goddess, conjuring Linda Ronstadt on the country shuffle 'Thieves' and Skeeter Davis on a cover of 'Gonna Get Along Without You.'"
Entertainment Weekly (p.68) - "'Don't Look Back' brims with sweet piano plonk and Spector-ish harmonies..." -- Grade: B+
Mojo (Publisher) (p.98) - 3 stars out of 5 -- "[A] succession of summery hooks carry the choruses, and Ward plays the production perfectly, keeping things spare and subtle..."
Paste (magazine) (p.83) - "Here, they provide a pleasant escape to a mythical America of endless horizons and youthful resilience..."
Pitchfork (Website) - "She & Him has given Dechanel her best role yet, one that shows off her charm and intelligence to best effect -- one that she is essentially writing for herself."
Uncut (magazine) (p.102) - 3 stars out of 5 -- "Once again, Deschanel demonstrates a deep understanding and irony-free love of innocent old-school pop craft in her writing..."
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