She & Him – Volume 2 She & Him – Volume 2

She & Him - Volume 2

She & Him - Volume 2

Volume 2, the second album from She & Him, the brain child of Zooey Deschanel and M. Ward, is too conventional to be great. On a Richter scale it is an aftershock and not a quake.It’s Triple A baseball. In basketball it’s that player who doesn’t do much after college. When you first listen to it there are no amazing songs that stick out. You can spend the whole 13 tracks waiting for your favorite to play and eventually you end up hoping for a secret track to redeem the preceding travesty. Alas no such secret song exists.

At the appropriate volume these tracks would not sound out of place in an elevator. Neither the energy nor emotion of the album ever really peaks. Just like waiting for the redeeming track, listening intently for your favorite part of a song is equally futile. Even when lyrics become more than just lazy rhymes, Deschanel frequently communicates her ideas and problems with relationships and breakups in the most conventional manner possible. If you are going to sing about clichés do so from a new perspective or in an interesting manner.

Amidst the general underwhelmingness of the album track 3, “Don’t Look Back,” has a good thing going. The piano intro is meandering and fantastic. I found myself wishing it would have continued throughout the entire song, and it’s followed by the best and most creative lyrics on the album, “Orpheus melted the heart of Persephone but I never had yours”. Sung simply but beautifully it is one of the few memorable lines and an ideal example of Deschanel’s sexy-smoke voice. She is using Greek mythology to convey her feelings about love. Which is awesome.

In Greek mythology Orpheus traveled to the underworld to find and save the soul of his departed wife. Orpheus is a minstrel, it was said that his songs could move stones, trees and even charm wild animals. During his search for his wife’s soul he runs into the goddess of the underworld, Persephone, who is so moved by his music she helps him find his wife. Under the sway of his beautiful music the gods agree to release the soul of Orpheus’ wife on the condition that he leaves the underworld and walks all the way back home without once looking back to gaze upon her. Just as track three warns listeners, “don’t look back all you’ll ever get, is the dust from the steps before”. Orpheus was a jackass; he looked over his shoulder and lost his wife for the second time and ultimately forever.

I am sure that people will be throwing up all over themselves because Deschanel is fantastic on screen, and recently married indie rock genius Ben Gibbard; these things do not add up to a fantastic album. Her music is like her acting, consistently monotone, except it lacks the situational comedy of her films. To be honest, I liked some of the songs in her film Yes Man, with Jim Carrey, much more than most of those on “Volume 2.” And if I’m at a local coffee shop and overhear a bunch of hipsters getting all gushy over this album because of Deschanels other accomplishments I’m going to spit in their Lattes.

She & Him - Volume 2, reviewed by Evanlee on 2010-04-07T13:30:19-07:00 rating 2.7 out of 5

One Response about “She & Him – Volume 2”

  • rowe says:

    totally agree, glorified elevator music. i still wanna ask zooey deschanel to go steady with me though.