She & Him: Volume 3

she and himShe & Him 
Volume 3
(Merge Records)

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There are many things about She & Him that contribute to a dismiss of novelty. Zooey Deschanel is the face of the band, a face that is tied to the glamorous hipster indie rock babe, too quirky for television, with famous bangs. Their last album was a Christmas album. The inclusion of M. Ward, folk guitar virtuoso, keeps the critics back and adds credibility, moving away from novelty into lighthearted fun and reinvention. She & Him is about an aura of nostalgia, built for a simpler music and sweeter voice.

Volume 3 builds on the 50’s rock from previous volumes, but ventures into original material. “I’ve Got Your Number, Son” is a jaunt through pining love, and how, when wrapped around the right drums and percussion, it can be a healthy and upbeat wanting. It’s playful with a subject that is both tired and renewed constantly. What Deschanel brings to the band is her capable vocals, which can dip into a lower register that evokes husky without being husky. There is the romance as well, a mix of lasting and eternal and fleeting and bittersweet. “It doesn’t matter if I were willing/It doesn’t matter that the lights are turning” she sings on “I Could’ve Been Your Girl.”

M. Ward is complimentary with his guitar notes. There is nothing about Volume 3 that feels heavy, despite the bitter longing of broken relationships and haunting love. The only fault is the condition of having too much of something so sweet. Volume 3 lingers in the brain with its delicious lyrics and orchestration, and it sticks and sticks until there is an overwhelming stickiness of vocals filled with a surreal innocence and love.

“Your love is a blessed curse/Actually, that gets worse/Supernaturally/What’s a girl to do, when something’s haunting you again?”

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