Archive for the 'Music Review' Category

Apr 17 2008

Sentimental Heart

Published by under Blog,Music,Music Review

Do you know who this is?

Zooey Deschanel

She was the love interest, Trillian, from Garth Jenning’s Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy; she acted opposite Will Ferrell in the hillarious Elf; she played William’s sister in Almost Famous; her sister, Emily, is the star of the TV show Bones.

So, I was surprised to hear Zooey Deshanel deliver an album with the quality of Volume One with the band She & Him, a two piece with M. Ward. It’s soft pop set, with some nice easy listening tunes such as Sentimental Heart and Swing Low Sweet Chariot.Volume One

While one or two tracks sound like they may have been add-on’s to Ringo Star’s 90’s album, Vertical Man (which is not entirely a bad thing), much of the album, particularly I Thought I Saw Your Face Today, sounds as though Deschanel has communicated with the dead to channel Karen Carpenter, mixing the cheerful melody with heartbreaking vocals. Her voice is gripping.

At other times, She & Him fits nicely into the recent trend in favour of jazzier, 50’s and 60’s RnB grooves, รก la the edgy Amy Winehouse or the softer Duffy. The duo are not going to ask us ‘what kind of fuckery is this‘ – they are ‘nicer’ than Winehouse and this in itself is quite refreshing. Their soulful cover of the old Smoky Robinson hit (there was a great cover by The Beatles), You Really Gotta Hold On Me, is beautiful and was the first track that I immediately went back to play again.

She and HimThere is a strong Country and Western influence in Deschanel’s voice at times, which goes against her somewhat. It feels forced on tracks like Black Hole and Got Me, which makes me think she isn’t entirely behind every track on the album. The opposite can be said of Take It Back which is a haunting tune which could fit just as neatly on an Ute Lemper album, recalling the smoky cabaret scenes of wartime Europe.

This album is not going to tear up the charts, there’s too much variety in the tracks (is this a bad thing?), but with songs like Sentimental Heart and Take It Back, it may do very well on the download market.

Please check out the duo’s MySpace page, where you can hear a number of tracks from the album, Volume One.

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