Volume Two

  • Record Label: Merge
  • Release Date: Mar 23, 2010

Generally favorable reviews - based on 29 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 18 out of 29
  2. Negative: 0 out of 29
  1. Where Volume One was strongest was simply the quality of the songs (try getting Why Do You Let Me Stay Here? out of your head in a hurry), yet there’s something sadly lacking about Volume Two, and what previously sounded like finely-crafted homage is now often more like impotent pastiche.
  2. Volume Two is a record, of occasional charm, that comes off all-too-aware of how cranky a response to it other than “charming” will seem.
  3. The smiling-through-tears undercurrent of ’60s pop is lost in Deschanel’s taffy-like vocals, and though the album evokes memories of a more pleasant time, they seem far too sweet to be real.
  4. 50
    Sometimes Volume Two drifts in a Valium haze of deep sighs, or its lyrics wanly drain the fun out of romance.
  5. In his solo work, Ward's songs have exhibited a kind of arcane gritty lyricism: They're false museum pieces, revivifying old notions of garage-sale Americana, but they have heart and feel at least partially lived in. There's very little of that here, and though it's hard to hate Volume Two, it's also far too easy to forget it.
  6. Their vision is charming and lovely and idiosyncratic, but their slavish devotion to their mission statement is starting to feel like an anchor on their talent.
  7. As impressively specific as those sonic ideas are, though, Deschanel's songwriting here is less distinctive than it was on "Volume One." Too many of the tracks bleed together in a well-appointed mush of major-minor melodies and hand-me-down lyrics about the inevitability of heartbreak.
  8. Under The Radar
    Rather than being something different or a step in a new direction, it's merely a continuation of the same thing as last time. [Winter 2010, p.65]
  9. Uncut
    Once again, Daschanel demonstrates a deep understanding and irony-free love of innocent, old-school pop craft in her writing, but too many of the chorus hooks pass by without sticking, and aome of the stacked-up vocal arrangements sag under their own weight. [May 2010, p.102]
  10. Q Magazine
    Mostly this is the swingingest easy-listening country you can shake a cocktail at. [May 2010, p.127]
  11. Volume Two feels better than it could be, but it's still missing that something that would make it great.
User Score

Generally favorable reviews- based on 42 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 10 out of 10
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 10
  3. Negative: 0 out of 10
  1. RaulfS
    Jun 17, 2010
    Even in musics not so remarkable, it's terrible lovely.
  2. RezJ
    Apr 6, 2010
    One of the "Must have to" listen album. it's great.
  3. MaxwellP
    Mar 28, 2010
    This is my first review. I had to do one on Volume Two because everyone needs to know how wonderful it is. If you haven't bought it you This is my first review. I had to do one on Volume Two because everyone needs to know how wonderful it is. If you haven't bought it you really should. M. Ward's arrangements are fantastic and Zooey Deschanel's lyrics are exceptional yet again. The best part though is her voice. This album is almost perfect from song one until the very end. Enjoy this sunny gem or you'll really be missing out! Full Review »