Volume 3 - She & Him
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Generally favorable reviews - based on 29 Critics What's this?

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Generally favorable reviews- based on 31 Ratings

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  • Summary: Tom Hagerman of Devotchka, Pierre de Reeder of Rilo Kiley, Joey Spampinato of NRBQ, Tilly and the Wall, and Mike Watt are some of the guest musicians on the third release for the indie pop duo of M. Ward and Zooey Deschanel.
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 14 out of 29
  2. Negative: 0 out of 29
  1. May 10, 2013
    It's pretty much instantly likable if you're not otherwise predisposed. [No. 98, p.58]
  2. 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]
  3. 75
    It is a good record, brimming with lavish, romantic nostalgipop that will rekindle your love for Grease, neckerchiefs and pomade.
  4. 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.
  5. Jun 18, 2013
    It still feels a bit hammy. [Jul 2013, p.96]
  6. 58
    Zooey Deschanel and M. Ward continue to prove She & Him is more than mere novelty. Now we just need some richness and depth.
  7. 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.

See all 29 Critic Reviews

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. 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
  2. May 10, 2013
    Nothing essential, but if, like me, you enjoy going on long walks when it's sunny, or sitting in the garden with a cold beer, then this is the perfect soundtrack. Hits its stride in the middle, so if you're not particularly enamoured by the first third of the album, don't be put off. It's got that whole summer-of-love sound going on, and Deschanel proves herself to be much more than that actress trying her hand at music; she sounds completely at home against M. Ward's sunny backdrop. So basically it's like a 2013 version of Allo Darlin's 'Europe' except not quite as good. But if you've got nothing better to do one afternoon this summer, stick this on it's what it was made for. Collapse
  3. May 14, 2013
    This album continues the same spirit of the previous ones made by the collaboration of Zooey Deschanel (Yeah, the cute girl from New Girl and Indie movie [500] Days Of Summer) and M. Ward. In contrast to their earlier records, this one is more mature, maybe because it was the first release since Zooey Deschanel and her her husband, Ben Gibbard from Death Cab For Cutie, separated. The music may sound sweet, but the songs' lyrics are about togetherness and separations, which make you wonder what the hell Ben Gibbard was thinking about when they divorced

  4. May 10, 2013
    This honestly exceeded my expectations, thanks in part to M. Ward. He has really gotten the catchy folk-pop rhythms down. And Zooey has started to understand her singing limits, which makes for a way more pleasant songs than from their previous albums. Would listen to this album 2 or 3 times, tops. Expand
  5. 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 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. Expand
  6. 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 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.
  7. May 10, 2013
    Zoey Deschanel couldn’t sing a note if her life depended on it.

    That's already the case in the two previous records and it's disappointing
    g but not unexpected that this problem just go ignored once again. I'll make a parallel with Joanna Newsom who started her career with great challenges in her vocal ability but worked hard to overcome this initial limitation. Musicianship is important when performing music (doh!) because it gives the artist a whole range of possibilities to express themselves. Other example: Frank Zappa, apart for being himself a very unique guitar virtuoso, always had bands so skilled they could play and improvise regardless of genre, going from rock to hip hop to reggae to jazz...

    She & Him firmly believes in the coolness of mediocrity, They prove that by putting out there a low quality album of bad songwriting who is not as charming and fresh as they think it is.

    Zoey Deschanel Does Not Really Care About Music (It's Just A Side Project After All)- Volume 3 could be the title of this record.

See all 8 User Reviews