The Enjoyable but Inferior Sequel
After their successful debut album Volume 1, She & Him are back with their sophomore effort, appropriately titled Volume 2. The new release contains more whimsical pop-folk tunes for light and easy listening that you’d expect from their first release.
Formed after actress turned singer Zooey Deschanel teamed up with M. Ward, She & Him sound like classic female vocal groups the Shirelles and the Supremes had a love child with the Cardigans. They have Beatle-esque song stylings and chord structures with a little funky, folky guitar tinge.
Volume 2 contains post-coital ballads and lounging-around music. The other songs you would want to hear while lying in a grassy meadow and looking at cloud formations. Zooey Deschanel’s vocals, with her signature choral backing, have a dry sweetness that is irresistible. She hits high floral notes after catchy repeating hooks with lyrics that are very sweet and sentimental. “Lingering Still” and “Thieves” are stand-outs with nice harmonies and emotional build ups. Volume 2 even ends like the Beatles’ White Album with a ‘goodnight’ song.
Like many sophomore releases, this one doesn’t shine as much as the debut release and seems slightly more subdued with less standout songs. Sophomore albums are always difficult and can determine the longevity of the artist. Debut albums seem to be packed with the most potent songs in an effort to get noticed. Volume 2 has plenty of likable tunes but leaves the listener longing to pop in Volume 1 for the complete She & Him experience.