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She and Him – Classics

Lisa Bentley


The latest She and Him album, Classics, was released this week. The thirteen track album goes hand in hand with their previous musical ventures and doesn’t stray from the sound that makes them typically She and Him.

It could be argued that the album – again much like their other releases – is elf indulgent. They sing songs that are so out of ilk with current trends that you can’t help but hope that the album was born out of something special, like a drunken dinner party; the kind when old records are brought out, put on the turnstile and just dripped nostalgia on Deschanel and Ward. Wouldn’t that just be wonderful?

Again, the album’s lack of contemporary style is actually quite refreshing. We are given a pop sound that harks back to the golden age of 60s girl groups rather than the crotch thrusting, gregarious forced sexuality of our modern day performers. The style of She and Him resonates a sense of innocent romance and beauty. The version of Unchained Melody is haunting. Initially, I was worried because that is a huge song to take on but the arrangement is gorgeous.

The focus on Deschanel’s vocals is heavy through the first part of the album so it comes as a pleasant change of pace when Ward takes lead vocals on their version of Costello’s She. Deschanel provides the gorgeous backing vocals providing a harmonious and intoxicating balance. However, Ward does captivate you effortlessly with this song. Proving that they really are a duo not one singer being pushed to the forefront which realistically could be the case with Deschanel singing the majority of the songs.

As for Deschanel, she is just effortlessly cool. She makes each song her own and almost has a sense of whimsy with her vocal approach to the songs. She doesn’t have the strongest voice but by god she makes what she has got memorable. Her vibrato trills are wraith like and sound like they could cut glass. With Ward’s sporadic but subtle backing vocals you can see just why this partnership works.

Once again, another great release from She and Him.


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