For what was once a fairly mysterious project, She & Him has stuck to a straightforward formula. The "She" is actress Zooey Deschanel, the "Him" is M. Ward, and there's a pecking order: The occasional cover aside, these are Deschanel's songs, sung almost entirely in Deschanel's voice, and Ward is no longer viewed as some sort of Svengali. Where he once lent a certain amount of cachet and cover to She & Him — back when Deschanel was often presumed to be an actress slumming in the studio — it's now understood that he functions largely as an arranger. He's crucial to She & Him's sound, but he's a background player.
Volume 3, out May 14, adheres to a few formulas in its own right: Playful, soft, sunnily melancholy and springlike, its songs once again subsist on the strength of their own agreeability. Timelessness has long been key to She & Him's charm, and indeed, Volume 3 seems to be floating through AM speakers at all times. But the album also demonstrates that there's more to Deschanel than her doe-eyed New Girl persona would suggest: She & Him is led by a confident singer-songwriter who, on records and elsewhere, knows exactly what she's doing.
- Steven Thompson, NPR
01. I've Got Your Number, Son
02. Never Wanted Your Love
04. I Could've Been Your Girl
05. Turn to White
06. Somebody Sweet to Talk To
07. Something's Haunting You
09. Hold Me, Thrill Me, Kiss Me
10. Snow Queen
11. Sunday Girl
13. Shadow of Love
14. Reprise (I Could've Been Your Girl)
Banner Photo by Autumn de Wilde