Artist: She & Him
A Very She & Him Christmas
Label: Merge Records
Release Date: October 24, 2011
When it comes to Christmas music, people either love it, hate it, or tolerate it. Most of us probably fall into the latter category. A song now and then is fine, and if its an artist we like we may actually listen to it more than once. For the artist, a Christmas album is sometimes obligatory for their audience. However, occasionally, there is a Christmas album that is done for fun, with no real expectations of being overly celebratory. This is where A Very She & Him Christmas seems to fit.
She & Him consists of M. Ward and Zooey Deschanel, who are two of the most likable musicians in the alt-folk scene. Given the success of their previous albums (Vol. 1 and Vol. 2) it may seem a risky move to release a Christmas album, given that they are not your traditional holiday crooners. It seems to be a risk that pays off, with simple renditions of comfortably holiday songs. Most of the album is pretty low key and mellow, with ‘Baby It’s Cold Outside’ being a bubbly exception. It is then countered by perhaps the most melancholic version of ‘Blue Christmas’ one will ever hear.
The magic of this venture is the simplicity that is maintained with such well known songs. A lot of musicians try to be showy and ass extra flair when it comes to holiday music. She & Him maintain their integrity as musicians and keep their comfortable and cozy sound throughout the album.
As Zooey & M. traverse their way through any album, they create an intimate and fun sound that makes them feel like your best friends after one listen. So, when they sing their holiday songs, it’s no wonder that one may feel the need to add them to the Christmas card list and bake some sugar cookies. It is easy to welcome this duo into one’s home for the holidays.
[This review is also published at Kevchino.com]