Review: New album reintroduces Christmas classics with soothing, vintage feel

Audiences welcome back Zooey Deschanel with “Baby, It’s Cold Outside” once again on the new She & Him Christmas

album. This time, instead of performing the song in the Gimbel’s locker room with Will Ferrell in “Elf,” Deschanel sings with her musical partner Matt Ward in their signature oldies style. Deschanel and Ward together front the band She & Him, and released “A Very She & Him Christmas” on Oct. 24.

Deschanel and Ward first met when they recorded a version of Richard and Linda Thompson’s “When I Get To The Border” for the 2006 film “The Go-Getter.” According to Rolling Stone, it was there that “the two discovered they were musical soul mates.” She & Him’s first album “Volume One” was released later in 2008.

“A Very She & Him Christmas” is their first holiday album. The collection of Christmas recordings takes the listener back to classic eras of music when artists such as The Beach Boys, Elvis Presley and The Carpenters dominated the musical charts. She & Him’s rendition of these well-known songs are given a new touch of emotion while not straying too far from the original vintage sound.

 

01 The Christmas Waltz This song is my personal favorite. It’s an intimate holiday tune that you would listen to curled up by the fire watching the snow fall on Christmas Eve. The quarter time soft guitar strumming might encourage you to slow dance with your significant other.

 

02 Christmas Day The lyrics and melody do not really go anywhere; it sounds like the entire song is sung on one note. However, Deschanel’s voice is beautiful and clear, similar to a soprano version of Karen Carpenter’s voice.

 

03 Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas This classic Christmas song’s tempo is slowed down to create a romantic mixture of melody and emotion. Fun guitar solos and the quiet patter of ukulele strums make you think of the beaches in Hawaii.

 

04 I’ll Be Home for Christmas The vintage guitar style played in this song is the only interesting part of the track; Deschanel’s voice is easy to tune out in this adagietto piece.

 

05 Christmas Wish Ward’s smooth voice is displayed beautifully in this song and will make audiences “wish” to hear more of him on the album. Unfortunately, this is the only song where his voice can be heard over Deschanel’s. “Christmas Wish” takes you back to the 1970s.

 

06 Sleigh Ride The tempo for this song is a little more mellow than expected, but is a great combination of both Deschanel’s and Ward’s vocals. The guitar is also very merry.

 

07 Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree A classic that everyone will love. The guitar has classic muffled sounds similar to the Brenda Lee version heard in the movie “Home Alone.”

 

08 Silver Bells The entire song is played on a ukulele. The song is a little boring and has a surprisingly slow tempo compared to the original version.

 

09 Baby, It’s Cold Outside This song is actually not sung in its original style. Deschanel sings the man’s part and Ward sings the woman’s part. It is not as good as the version in “Elf.” The singers’ voices do not blend well together and are very off-beat with each other.  It sounds as if they are rushing through the song.

 

10 Blue Christmas Elvis would be proud. This is not just a cover but also its own rendition without forgetting its classic origins.

 

11 Little Saint Nick This is a very fun song. Deschanel adds her own feminine version to this Beach Boys classic.

 

12 The Christmas Song The guitar gives the song a warm feeling like it is played softly in the night at the beach.

 

By Brianna Anderson

Photos courtesy of sheandhim.com

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