Nobody is a greater advocate of She & Him's sugar-sweet pop or lead singer Zooey Deschanel's distinctively effervescent vocals than I. Whilst their dreamy compositions provide the perfect backing to lazy summer days, this sound does not seem to transfer well to different seasons. Sadly, their festive offering 'A Very She & Him Christmas' leaves you feeling like you've cracked open the champers for your Christmas lunch, only to discover most of the fizz has gone.
The opening track 'A Christmas Waltz' certainly reflects its title well enough; the gently strummed guitar chords and Deschanel's angelic voice rises and falls at the right moments but it feels like you're waiting for the joyous Christmas spirit to kick in and it never arrives. Their rendition of golden oldie 'Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas' is charming enough but the appeal of many other versions is that it feels homey and warming, whereas this version just feels a little soulless. 'Rockin' Around the Christmas Tree' is another upbeat Christmas classic but if anything is happening near She & Him's tree, it's certainly not any rocking!
'Sleigh Ride' helps pick up proceedings somewhat, as Ward joins in on vocals to add a bit of variety and the galloping nature (no pun intended) of the track means it can't help but feel lively. Meanwhile, the two alternate on vocal duties during 'Baby It's Cold Outside' and the quicker-pace they perform this track at causes it to feel like they're actually a debating couple, which makes for an amusingly endearing listen.
It's always great to stumble across an alternative take on a usually-corny Christmas song, so upon discovering this indie darling duo were releasing their versions, hopes were high all round that we'd have a new seasonal soundtrack. However, this record is (disappointingly) perfect to listen to if you're opening presents and want some festive tunes playing nonchalantly in the background. If you're planning on drinking and being merry then save She & Him for the post-Christmas blues and crack out your parents' well-worn Wizzard vinyl instead.
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