She & Him return with their spectral (or Spector-al) 70′s AM pop rock radio sound in Volume Two. While the “singles” don’t carry the same weight as the first album, the record, in its entirety, is a stronger, more well-defined effort. They resurrect this vintage sound and ambience not for retro kitsch, but because it works so well for them and feels so good in the modern pop landscape. We need it and it comes naturally to them. Zooey Deschanel is as sweet and seductive as ever and slowly climbing my secret dream girlfriend list. Look out Jennifer Connelly, Chloe Sevigny, and that hot redhead from True Blood we got a double-threat pushing her way up!
Zooey’s gorgeous voice pines with angelic yearning right out of the gate on “Thieves” set to Brill Building musical backing a la The Crystals. It is followed by the upbeat, sing-along fun of “In the Sun” with a simple and infectious piano progression set to a shuffle beat. The Beach Boys and Brian Wilson creep in with idealistic California sentiment in “Ridin’ in my Car.” Zooey’s beautiful songs and M. Ward’s musical touches and production style shine, bringing elegance and poise to their sophomore entry.
Written for REAX Online March 25, 2010