ALBUM REVIEWS: She & Him – A Very She & Him Christmas

a very she and him christmas

 

Written for DIY

First of all, we think we should probably address the obvious: yes, it is quite odd reviewing a Christmas album a month early. It is quite odd listening to a Christmas album a month early too, let alone trying to formulate any opinions on it. But we counter with these following points:

a) Those adverts with the Coca-Cola lorries travelling at probably-illegal speeds through an idyllic snow-covered landscape have been on for a while now;
and b) It’s actually a little easier to judge this recording subjectively at a time when many of our more critical thoughts are not being tempered by a feeling of goodwill to all men (and mulled wine).

That said, it may be easier in theory than practice, with this, the third full-length collaboration between folk dilettante M. Ward and full-time-actress/part-time-singer Zooey Deschanel. An album of yule-tide standards being covered, well, in a fairly “standard” fashion, the arrangements are fairly sparse, consisting mostly of acoustic guitar (and some cameo appearances by Buddy Holly-style electric) and a light dusting of little drummer boys. Really your enjoyment of the album is going to come down to whether you’re a Christmas-hating Scrooge or a more Buddy the Elf type; however, if you’re the former, there’s a good change Deschanel’s smoky voice could melt that icy heart of yours.

In fact, for the most part the album is Zooey’s game, with Ward only turning up in vocal form about halfway through the running time. Not that Deschanel’s tones aren’t rich and gorgeous, but Ward isn’t exactly a slouch in that department either; in fact, their duets on ‘Sleigh Bells’ and the pretty-much-mandatory ‘Baby It’s Cold Outside’ are subtle highlights.

Come to think of it, remember that bit in aformentioned Will Ferrel-starring seasonal comedy ‘Elf’ where Zooey, in the part of the romantic lead, rouses a crowd of New Yorkers into a sing-a-long of “Let It Snow”? This is pretty much a whole album of that. And your reaction to that scene is the key to knowing if you’d enjoy this album. If you found it heart-warming and up-beat, ‘A Very She & Him Christmas’ will help you get a sentimental feeling when you hear voices singing; if you found it corny and annoying, chances our recieving this CD for a present will result in it being binned (along with that lump of coal).

7/10

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