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. In the end, Volume Two is a showcase of Deschanel’s and Ward’s best traits--Ward’s production and composition and Deschanel’s intelligence and magnetism.
  2. Like the previous album, Volume 2 would suffer under the weight of its own pastiche if it weren’t so darn endearing, filled as it is with call-and-response vocals, studio reverb, sweeping orchestrations, and other bygone tricks of the trade.
  3. Alternative Press
    Volume Two, as its title announces, succeeds Volume One's charming, old-timey sensibility, relying again in Deschanel's sweet croon to augment the already inviting tracks. [Apr 2010, p.130]
  4. Although too saccharine in places, She & Him's second time around spins wonderfully bittersweet.
  5. As on Volume One, Ward's performance and production excel, and his song arrangements move effortlessly between heart-rending and cheery.While Ward's musicianship remains the magic behind She & Him, Deschanel's lyrical growth on Volume Two proves she can hold her own alongside a well-respected partner.
  6. Deschanel and Ward continue their winning ways on Volume Two, drawing on their shared love of everything from Bobbie Gentry to Wilco.
  7. Like its predecessor, Volume II stands outside current production trends, and it’s built to last on its own modest terms.
  8. 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.
  9. She & Him treat what could be needless and indulgent with care and soul. Volume Two will surprise and charm in equal measure.
  10. Though Ward is a master instrumentalist, Deschanel's vocal affects and childlike rhymes sometimes veer into twee overload; she can seem too in love with her own adorability. But by a cappella closer ''If You Can't Sleep,'' it's hard to begrudge this Volume's magpie charms.
  11. 82
    Volume Two sees the return of She & Him and with fantastic results. Any shyness surrounding Deschanel’s songwriting on the first record has melted away, and here she is unabashed, graceful and poignant. Ward has followed suit, fleshing out the production canvas right along with Deschanel's ever-growing gusto.
  12. 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.
  13. Ably coaxed on and assembled by Ward--whose input ought not to be overlooked--Volume Two is an outstanding collection of tracks worthy of any discerning listener's undivided attention.
  14. 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.
  15. MusicLive Music ListingsDisc ReviewsThe SceneDJ SpotlightClub SpotlightSite MapSearchHome www.nowtoronto.com/personals/ mydickonce again, just ask dont be a virgin... Browse... Women seeking Men Women seeking Women Men seeking Women Men seeking Men www.nowtoronto.com/personals/ Story Tools Email Print/Save Facebook Twitter Buzz This Share NOW Rating N N N N N Reader's Rating Disc Review She & Him Volume Two (Merge)By Paul Terefenko Welcome to Volume 2, the second release by cute-as-a-button Zooey Deschanel and quirky romance-soundtrack-meister M. Ward, aka She & Him. It’s largely a continuation of Volume One, so if Deschanel’s occasionally off-putting intonation isn’t too much for you, this sweet romp through a warm, largely carefree universe should nestle naturally into your listening rotation.
  16. 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.
  17. She plays the dewy-eyed ingénue a bit too faithfully at times, but there is no denying her legitimacy as a tunesmith, divvying her set between bouncy piano-pop, folk-flavored sing-alongs and orchestral anthems.
  18. What makes the album so distinctive isn't just the sound of her voice, the quality of her songwriting, or even the resourcefulness of his arrangements, but their joint insistence that these old sounds have as much to say nowadays as they ever did.
  19. 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.
  20. Volume Two feels better than it could be, but it's still missing that something that would make it great.
  21. Q Magazine
    Mostly this is the swingingest easy-listening country you can shake a cocktail at. [May 2010, p.127]
  22. It's the sunniest sad record you'll hear all year--pretty love songs set in a "nation" where summer never ends.
  23. 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.
  24. 50
    Sometimes Volume Two drifts in a Valium haze of deep sighs, or its lyrics wanly drain the fun out of romance.
  25. Save for the occasional song seemingly arranged by rote, Volume Two delivers the expected sweetness, but on a grander scale than the duo’s debut.
  26. The new album proves again that she’s not a dabbler, just as it proves again that she and Mr. Ward, her producer, share similar ideals.
  27. 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]
  28. Under The Radar
    Sweet without being stupid, She & Him have once again managed to flaunt both brains and beauty. [Winter 2010, p.65]
  29. 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]
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 »