Volume One


3.0
good

Review

by Ryan Flatley EMERITUS
May 17th, 2008 | 26 replies


Release Date: | Tracklist

Review Summary: She & Him's debut release is more like a collection of songs rather than a cohesive, fresh album, and as such, is a letdown for a singer that showed a lot of promise.

The only way to describe Zooey Deschanel is a sweetheart. After all, Zooey's performance in the hit holiday comedy Elf made her seem so innocent and fragile. But now, actress, Zooey Deschanel is entering a completely different realm. This time she isn’t singing in the showers while Will Ferrell clumsily drops in; instead Deschanel is open for vocal criticism. But she is not alone on her debut album, Volume One. Deschanel is under the guidance of indie-rock singer-songwriter M. Ward, who acts as a support beam instrumentally, as well as producing Volume One. Their band, She & Him is refreshing, yet overwrought.

She & Him begins with the heart-sobbing, piano-led song, "Sentimental Heart." Deschanel's vocals show promise with a hypnotizing opening chorus, 'cried all night 'til there was nothing more/ what you stand by is a heap on the floor…,' but it is only the beginning. "Sweet Darlin'" features beautiful vocal harmonies with a hand-clapping country-western feel that adds charm to her voice, while M. Ward carefully adds appropriate instruments to each song. In fact, M. Ward pulls his slack creating an ever so pleasant backdrop for the majority of the album, like in the piano-laden "I Thought I Saw Your Face Today."

But with M. Ward's musical backdrop, comes the pacing of each song, the downfall of M. Ward. The first three tracks are primarily the bulk of the quicker-tempo songs, while a plethora of slow tracks bridge the entire album. Above all, where She & Him takes off are with their faster paced songs like, "Why Do You Let Me Stay Here?" and "This Is Not A Test." Conversely, from "You Really Gotta Hold On Me" until "I Should Have Known Better" forms a block of songs that are excruciatingly slow songs and drag more than they should. "Black Hole" brings little relief with a guitar-friendly foot tapper, but barely salvages the pace of Volume One.

But the main problem doesn’t lie in Volume One's pacing; it's simply the fact her lyrics and song topics are ridiculously cliché. "You Really Gotta Hold On Me" focuses on being there for a person when they need it, and guess what, "Got Me" is about how the girl is supported by her lovely partner. That is unfortunately only the beginning of the played out song topics. Deschanel’s lyrics sound not only forced, but completely contrived and it's a shame for an album that could have so much potential.

The songs from Volume One sound like they have been heard on a 40s radio station or in a country-western romance film. It is this generic sound that leaves a bit of skepticism of how to truly judge this album. It is also questionable how much M. Ward swayed Zooey Deschanel's performance on this album with his mediocre production. Regardless, Volume One is a record that would be more palatable on shuffle than as it stands. She & Him's debut release is more like a collection of songs rather than a cohesive, fresh album, and as such, is a letdown for a singer that showed a lot of promise.



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user ratings (25)
Chart.
3.7
great

Comments:Add a Comment 
Eliminator
March 16th 2008


2067 Comments


you dont really talk about how the album actually sounds much
also review needs 2 emphasize how awesome "This is Not a Test" is

mynameischan
Staff Reviewer
March 16th 2008


17920 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

summary doesn't really reflect the review because you basically say how zooey's lyrics suck and are cliche, etc.

seems dumb but i think people are kind of hesitant to really slam zooey

iarescientists
March 16th 2008


5863 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

nah bro I would slam zooey so hard given the oppurtunity

mynameischan
Staff Reviewer
March 16th 2008


17920 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

i knew someone was going to say that.

IsItLuck?
Emeritus
March 16th 2008


4927 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

I really wish "Why Do You Let Me Stay Here?" and "This Is Not A Test" didn't sound alike because maybe I'd like each a lot more. Agreed Chan, screwed that up, but noted and fixed.

iarescientists
March 16th 2008


5863 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

i regret nothing

IsItLuck?
Emeritus
March 16th 2008


4927 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

I wouldn't regret that eitherThis Message Edited On 03.16.08

Eliminator
March 16th 2008


2067 Comments


I really wish "Why Do You Let Me Stay Here?" and "This Is Not A Test" didn't sound alike because maybe I'd like each a lot more.
um they're pretty different

Altmer
March 16th 2008


5652 Comments


i would hit zooey deschanel

IsItLuck?
Emeritus
March 16th 2008


4927 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

I meant to say vocally, but w/e

Electric City
Staff Reviewer
March 16th 2008


15737 Comments


nah bro I would slam zooey so hard given the oppurtunity


Best lulz of the day.

But with M. Ward's musical backdrop comes the pacing of each song, the downfall of Volume One.

But the main problem doesn’t lie in Volume One's pacing


eh?This Message Edited On 03.16.08

Digging: Ricky Eat Acid - Three Love Songs

endverse
March 16th 2008


6 Comments


i would hit zooey deschanel


nah bro I would slam zooey so hard given the oppurtunity


too bad she wouldnt give ur pasty flabby white music nerd self a second look xD

Best lulz of the day.


wow ur sense of humor must either suck or u just dont have real ppl to talk to

plane
Staff Reviewer
March 16th 2008


6094 Comments


too bad she wouldnt give ur pasty flabby white music nerd self a second look xD

wow ur sense of humor must either suck or u just dont have real ppl to talk to


AtavanHalen
March 16th 2008


17927 Comments


Zooey is gorgeous. I heard a couple of songs from this and didn't mind it. Shall be sure to look out for it.

Review should go into more detail, and fix up what Electric City pointed out.

Altmer
March 17th 2008


5652 Comments


i'm on target weight

you, endverse, on the other hand, probably need to diet.

astrel
March 17th 2008


2614 Comments


so endverse, ne moar lulzkilling for teh day?

Iluvatar
Staff Reviewer
March 17th 2008


16089 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

This is pretty lame.

Electric City
Staff Reviewer
March 17th 2008


15737 Comments


wow ur sense of humor must either suck or u just dont have real ppl to talk to
Will you be my friend =)?


Sabotage
March 29th 2008


4 Comments


*boner*

kingsoby1
Emeritus
August 8th 2008


4950 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

show in mn was tight



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