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REVIEW: She & Him – ‘Volume 3’

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She-and-Him-Volume-3-e1359484385142It’s been three solid years since we’ve heard something new from M. Ward’s indie duo, She & Him. Their latest release “Volume 3” continues to showcase their easy listening tunes with Zooey Deschanel’s alluring croons and while it may seem repetitive at first, their album explores new territory midway through.

The album begins with the typical formula for a She & Him album with “I’ve Got Your Number Son.” Deschanel croons within the track while Ward’s easy listening guitar riffs compliment her vocals.

A few songs in, their sound begins to sound redundant until “Somebody Sweet To Talk To” begins to stray from the signature She & Him style. This track is a catchy number, even with its simplistic chorus and verses due to other females accompanying Deschanel, creating a compelling harmony between and the soothing guitar and percussion beats.

Despite the album starting out slow and sluggish, which each track beginning to sound identical to one another and previous She & Him albums, fortunately, the duo’s creative spark kicks in midway through the album. There are added instruments instead of solely relying on a ukulele, basic guitar riffs and percussion beats.  Something that really helps a track standout is that Deschanel sings in French.

“Sunday Girl” features Deschanel singing in both English and French, something completely unexpected but is definitely entertaining to hear with its perky and upbeat ambiance.  Despite the language barrier and surprise, it is not something that is bothersome or a burden, it is actually interesting to listen to because of Deschanel’s accent.

After a couple upbeat tracks like “London” and “Something’s Haunting You,” the album then transitions into softer ballads to wrap up the album. The final minute track on the record is “Reprise (I Could’ve Been Your Girl),” which is an instrumental, a bit surprising to end the album with, but works nonetheless for a band like She & Him.

There is not anything extraordinary for the duo’s latest release and it is almost as if they are rereleasing previous songs with slightly different alterations. The few gems within the album are fun to listen to and show that the two have been exploring new ways to create music but it is still not their best release.

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