Having jumped record labels from Merge to Columbia, She & Him keep up the pace of their output. Classics is yet another covers album – it seems to have come back into fashion lately – but also manages to feel very much in the same vein as their Christmas album a few years back.
As ever, Zooey Deschanel, with her love-it-or-hate-it image, croons her way through the songs, providing entertainment if not a ground-breaking performance. M. Ward, her trusty sidekick in this project, gives good grounding to the tunes with reverb-soaked guitars, and offers up his vocals for Charles Aznavour’s classic ‘She’.
Zooey Deschanel is at her best when she’s singing about love and longing on ‘Stay Awhile’ (originally by Dusty Springfield) and pop standard ‘Teach Me Tonight’. Anyone besotted with Deschanel won’t find this album hard to love, but it’s easy to see where the hipster label is coming from. There is no harm in selecting songs from long before your birth – especially if they’re brought to a new generation. Perhaps they were played these classics by their parents, but you can’t help feeling some people will use this album as an excuse to scoff.
Regardless of what you think of her popularity, you have to admire the work-rate being put in. With a hit television show, a movie career and more albums than most artists ever manage, Zooey Deschanel is a hard-working lady; from album to album her confidence and strength seems to grow. With M. Ward as her sturdy accomplice – doing his cool, quiet persona – this is not only a duo with staying power, but the power to progress along a steady curve.
This covers album is a great little stocking-filler for fans while we wait for a more rounded fourth volume from the pair – hopefully the wait won’t be too long.
Picture Credit: Breezy Baldwin