Wednesday, March 17, 2010

An Uneasy Feeling: She & Him Volume 2

She and Him, a musical collaboration between Indie-Folk artist M. Ward and singer/actress Zooey Deschanel (The Happening, 500 Days of Summer), are expected to release their second album on March 23rd on Merge Records. It is aptly titled "Volume 2". I never got a chance to listen to "Volume 1", but decided to give this album a whirl when I saw NPR was previewing the album before its release (Check it out here: if you're interested in hurting your ears).

Yes. You heard me correctly. This album is painful on the ears. And it also pains me to hear an artist that I enjoy a lot, M. Ward, get mixed up with this Zooey woman. She appears to be a bad influence. The third track, "Don't Look Back", (and pretty much most of the album) sounds like a satire of the all-girl groups from the mid-60's. Except, instead of being a satire, I think we are supposed to be taking this stuff seriously. Note the following lyrics:

"Don't look back - all you'll ever get is the dust from the steps before - I don't have to see you every day, but I just want to know you're there."

I don't have to see you every day, but I just want to know you're there. cute! Except it's not. It is hard to take it seriously. Especially when the next song is a cover of NRBQ's "Ridin' In My Car", with lyrics like this:

"And I can't find no true love oh baby it's so hard - and I still think about you every time I'm ridin' in my car."

When you're tossing stuff like "true love", "riding in cars", and "making romance" around, it reduces the credibility of the songs. At times, I thought some of the songs were takes that were too poor to make it onto the Dirty Dancing sound track.

I would highly recommend that you stay very far away from this album, unless you need something to annoy someone else. For example, I was previewing this album the other day for this review, and my wife came in the room, and remarked curtly: "What the heck are you listening to?"

1 comment:

Carrie said...

You only listen to songs if their lyrics make sense?? I'm not understanding your reasoning... since most songs, when you lay out the lyrics, are cheeseball or nonsensical. But anyway, good luck with your career critiquing music.