Album Review: Volume Two - She & Him

There must be a beautiful world out there somewhere where film stars are always wonderfully interesting and where they make lovely pop records that are actually a pleasure to listening.

Whilst you carry on the search for this world BlackPlastic is happy to settle for one such star - the rather appealing Zooey Deschanel. So, fanboy yearning put to one side - Volume Two is Deschanel's second collaboration with musician M. Ward and, as She & Him, follows up on (you guessed it) 2008's Volume One.

So avert your eyes from the BlackPlastic "Alternative Electronic Music" masthead for a few minutes because Volume Two is gently crafted sixties-pop-cum-country music. And we can't help but go a bit doughy on it. What Deschanel lacks in vocal range she more than makes up for in the ability to pen a nice tune and M. Ward's backing does a perfect job of providing the perfect environment to make Zooey shine. The best examples, where the vocals and the music swell in unison as on 'Don't Look Back' and 'Lingering Still' ("And the world's like a science and I'm like a secret" Zooey sings convincingly on the latter), capture a wonderfully kitsch sparkle that transports BlackPlastic to a summer's day.

Compared to Volume One this outing is superior in all ways bar one. Since Volume Two is a more consistent yet more varied album, BlackPlastic can only be disappointed by the fact that there is nothing quite as joyfully edible and sumptuous as Volume One's 'Why Do You Let Me Stay Here'. It's an unfair, churlish criticism perhaps but it ensures that both albums still deserve a listen.

So ultimately Volume Two is the same joyful ye olde fashioned pop music as Volume One. It's warm, arms-open retro hugs.

BP x

Volume Two is out now on Domino, available from on CD, LP and MP3 [affiliate links].