Reviewers have unanimously endorsed She & Him’s Volume Two while qualifying that praise with some variation on the theme, “I am also required to apologize in some way for enthusiastically recommending this.” For example, Zooey Deschanel (“She”) is so “likable” (or quirky or adorable or twee) that she can’t be taken seriously as anything beyond an indie movie star and hipster boy crush. Or, The music is so catchy and instantly hummable (Deschanel dubs it a feel-good album) that it can’t be entirely good for you. This is a lot of fun, the critics feel compelled to say about She & Him, but you should feel a little twinge of guilt as you sing along.
Pshaw!, say we. You need feel no guilt for loving this album, which roars out of the gate with three winners: the lush, straight-outta-Patsy-Cline’s-songbook “Thieves,” the single “In the Sun,” and the album’s best track, “Don’t Look Back.” Though Volume Two loses momentum further down the track list, it ends on a high note: the beautiful, a cappella “If You Can’t Sleep.” The video for “In the Sun” smartly showcases She over Him, but M. Ward gets his moment rocking out in the high school gym while cool kids twirl hula hoops all around him. Whatever’s your thing, man.