Music Review: She & Him "In the Sun"

1/23/2010 Posted by Admin

By our guest blogger, Elizabeth Hughes

She & Him are back. She being Zooey Descheanel and Him being M.Ward, (who also is one part successful solo artist, and one part Monsters of Folk member.) The album, Volume Two (Merge), is a follow up to their 2008 release Volume One.  It will be released March 23, 2010. Their first single off the album is “In the Sun.”

Like most of the She & Him collection, “In the Sun” is an easy, lighthearted little ditty. They aren’t producing epic classics here--they’re more in the market of producing easy listening.

The music will make you want to shake your hips, snap your fingers, but don’t listen too closely. With lyrics like, “It’s hard to be ignored/ When I left, you looked so bored,” it’s not exactly groundbreaking stuff.

This song has the same feel of much of their other works, but they have (thankfully) tuned down the doo-wop, American-Bandstand sound that they used all too often in Volume One. This song is less of a throwback--it sounds as if it was written and recorded in the 2000s rather than the 1950s. The lack of a retro feel comes as a surprise as it is Deschanel’s main shtick, but it is refreshing to hear them try out different sounds.

The main problem with this tune is its unoriginality. The song, which clocks in under three minutes, is a generic mix of easy lyrics and poppy beats--it sounds like a song you’ve heard a million times before. While it may not have staying power, it's just fine to put it on in the background once in a while.

She & Him have a very cute dynamic--Zooey Deschanel is the cute retro girl and M. Ward plays the silent, good-guy sidekick. They have managed to make their own genre, which branches off of the ever-growing indie rock tree. Somewhere in between freak folk and neo-psychedelic sits the newly blossoming indie rock front man/ leading lady branch. She & Him are perched there with the likes of Pete Yorn and Scarlett Johansson--and plenty other soon to emerge.

Deschanel’s signature voice and M. Ward’s classic guitar riffs set them apart from the others and give them a sound of their own. The song is worth giving a listen, but it’s not life-changing.

Listen to "In the Sun" below. What are your thoughts?

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