Volume 3 - She & Him

Generally favorable reviews - based on 29 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 14 out of 29
  2. Negative: 0 out of 29
  1. May 6, 2013
    For those of you already caught in the band's spider web of eternal summer, this album delivers the goods.
  2. 60
    Instead of cleverness, the polished songs indulge here sentimental broken heart. Bandmate M. Ward is mostly content to stay out of the way vocally, but he builds up a castle of retro-instrumental heartbreak for Deschanel. [Jun 2013, p.102]
  3. 70
    When Volume 3 soars above its status as just a nice summer soundtrack are the moments when Deschanel lets some deeper emotions break through the carefree demeanor of the songs.
  4. May 8, 2013
    These songs work well in small doses, but start to grate after repeat listens.
  5. May 6, 2013
    Deschanel comes from the tradition of singers not technically impressive but charismatic enough to cast a spell. Ward’s fretwork is excellent throughout, and it’s nice to hear his voice on a spirited duet of “Baby.”
  6. 70
    While Deschanel’s songwriting is classically strong, the performances spot-on, and the arrangements undeniably impressive, She and Him don’t offer much of an update to this classic sound.
  7. May 10, 2013
    It's fair to say that there are no real surprises here but what we do get is a solid collection of retro tinged songs that will appeal to fans of their previous work.
  8. May 13, 2013
    Sure it’s trying to mimic something it can never truly be but it’s lovely nonetheless and credit where due will probably be rewarded with more than a few listens.
  9. 75
    Prepare for more cute, wistful, sad-but-sunny retro-pop songs that'll hit a lot of people's sweet spots, and make other people want to punch a LOLcat in the face. [10 May 2013, p.67]
  10. May 6, 2013
    The production is clean and the tunes, as mentioned, sweet, but this is a sugary confection that's bound to get lost in the candy store.
  11. May 22, 2013
    3 shows a slightly darker side of the squeaky-clean She.
  12. May 10, 2013
    It's pretty much instantly likable if you're not otherwise predisposed. [No. 98, p.58]
  13. Jun 18, 2013
    It still feels a bit hammy. [Jul 2013, p.96]
  14. May 13, 2013
    Their third outing has ironed out the kooks and cracks that made them so endearing.
  15. May 28, 2013
    The third chapter in She & Him’s discography won’t convert those who dislike the genre and it won’t alienate fans of it either.
  16. May 7, 2013
    All in all, it’s just good fun. And more than a little bit clever.
  17. May 10, 2013
    It doesn’t shy away from sorrow, but as far as heartbreak albums go, Volume 3 is surprisingly resilient.
  18. May 8, 2013
    Volume 3 is so incredibly derivative of their previous two original recordings that you could easily splice in any number of older tunes in this new tracklisting, and you’d be hard pressed to discern which songs are old(er) and which are new.
  19. 58
    Zooey Deschanel and M. Ward continue to prove She & Him is more than mere novelty. Now we just need some richness and depth.
  20. May 13, 2013
    Covering Blondie's Sunny Girl in a straight '70s power-pop style seems strangely redundant, but easy listening standard Hold Me, Thrill Me, Kiss Me suits She & Him down to the ground. [Jun 2013, p.104]
  21. May 6, 2013
    Each song is winsome enough, but rarely does a track distinguish itself from the easy, revivalist indie-swing of the whole.
  22. May 8, 2013
    Volume Three can’t flourish under the force of her considerable personality or Ward’s craftsmanship, because the latter has been deadened and the former is unwilling to break the illusion.
  23. May 7, 2013
    With the arrival of Volume 3, there’s finally a She & Him record that grabs--and mostly keeps--the listener’s attention.
  24. May 9, 2013
    There's not much in the way of surprises--this is swinging country-pop with a girl-group backbone, as has always been their way. The problem is that this sickly concoction is often overcooked.
  25. This is a sweet, light confection, but insubstantial as whipped cream and too sugary for some tastes.
  26. 75
    It is a good record, brimming with lavish, romantic nostalgipop that will rekindle your love for Grease, neckerchiefs and pomade.
  27. May 13, 2013
    I think it’s safe to say that this third Volume remains the most autobiographical of the bunch.
  28. May 3, 2013
    Volume 3 is terrific when M. Ward's heavier production subsides and Deschanel's voice freely suggest swinging from lampposts in a romantic swoon. [Jun 2013, p.78]
  29. May 8, 2013
    While enjoyable from song to song, the experience of the entire album is tiring.
User Score

Generally favorable reviews- based on 32 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 5 out of 8
  2. Negative: 1 out of 8
  1. Mar 13, 2014
    This album is amazing! The first 3 quarters of this album is so wonderful. The last quarter is just ok at worse but it is still really good.This album is amazing! The first 3 quarters of this album is so wonderful. The last quarter is just ok at worse but it is still really good. The singing with Zooey is great as always. She has a very calming and diverse voice. M. Ward does a great job too with his guitar that has that unique surfer feel to it but still very relaxing. I wish there were more louder songs and this had a little more quiet ones but even the quiet ones sound calming and meaningful. I want to say this is my favorite She & Him album but I feel volume 2 beats this just by a little. I'd still listen to this anything.

    Favorite tracks: Never wanted your love, I could've been your girl, Turn to white, and way more

    not my favorite: Sunday Girl
    Full Review »
  2. Jul 10, 2013
    As a fan of their first two original albums I was slightly disappointed. I do not hate the album and I even like some of the songs listeningAs a fan of their first two original albums I was slightly disappointed. I do not hate the album and I even like some of the songs listening to them from time to time. The highlight of the album to me is ("Turn To White"). As a complete album though I find it very dull and more of the same but in a lazy way. Upon my first complete listen to it I was waiting for it to get on it's feet hoping it just had a sluggish start once "Turn To White" played that was my glimmer of hope that it would get better but it never got it's groove for me. I have listened to the whole thing a couple of times and my mind has not changed. Volume 1 is by far their best album and Volume 2 has great moments so it kept the entire album afloat but this just didn't do it for me as an album. Maybe the disappointment also comes from waiting years for a new album from them (didn't really care about a christmas cover album) .Love Zooey and I'm still a fan but I hope the duo can deliver something more elevated in their next album. Full Review »
  3. May 19, 2013
    Volume 3 marks the third album from Zooey Deschanel and M. Ward. I haven’t heard their previous work so this is all new to me, whilst beingVolume 3 marks the third album from Zooey Deschanel and M. Ward. I haven’t heard their previous work so this is all new to me, whilst being aware of this project for some time now, I just stuck to watching Zooey act. From the start the album hits you with this Brian Wilson produced sound mixed in with country for good measure. Whilst it starts of all very nice and well with “I’ve Got Your Number Son”, the album loses itself in its washes of reverb. It becomes background music.

    The album doesn’t really hit its stride until cover “Hold Me, Kiss Me, Thrill Me”. Sure the album has its nice pockets of secret sugar in the form of stripped back ukulele “Turn To White” but “Hold Me…” and onwards lose the sort of overly sweet vibes that the album has had so far. It grounds itself in the easy listening, enjoyable sound of sunshine that was 1960′s style pop music. ”Snow Queen” follows and is equally as good, but stand-out track is Blondie cover, “Sunday Girl”. I feel it puts a nice refreshing spin on the Blondie classic and She & Him make it theirs on this album, but without destroying it.

    “London” is slow and gorgeous. You can make fun of Zooey’s singing if you like, but I have heard much worse, and London shows that she can sing. It’s calming and I wish the album ended here, it feels like it should, or if not, then it should jump back full of energy, and it does neither. The last two songs don’t really do much, there is no need for them to be there. The last song “Reprise…” is nice, it may have worked better as an intro to the album but I feel we could do without “Shadow of Love”.

    Overall the album feels weak. It definitely has a good 60′s vibe to it, but I’m not sure how I feel about the Country sound being mixed in. Apart from a couple of good tracks it just blends into a palatable background music, but at least it’s listenable. And if you want a good 60′s vibes album, go check out Cults’ eponymous debut from 2011.
    Full Review »