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4.2 out of 5 stars
A Very She & Him Christmas
Format: Audio CDChange
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232 of 245 people found the following review helpful
TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICEon October 25, 2011
Format: Audio CD
Zooey Deschanel is quite the charmer. Her acting is adorable and her voice is silk. So how does this new Christmas album from She & Him rate in the endless potpourri of holiday staples? Well, overall, I'd have to say that some of these renditions may very well knock those 1950's classics off their throne. Not every song is classic, but those that are REALLY are. Here's my rundown:

THE UNDENIABLY BRILLIANT:
- The Christmas Waltz. I've never been a huge fan of this song, but She & Him nailed it absolutely perfectly. Zooey's voice has never sounded better, the production is subtle but enhancing. I love love love this song. Will be playing it all Christmas '11 and probably forever after that.

- Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas. I love how they made this classic even slower and more romantic. It's an amazing mixture beautiful, relaxing, and extremely sexy.

- Rockin' Around the Christmas Tree. A simple kick-snare beat and lush guitar mixes flawlessly with Zooey's voice to provide a live-like effect. It sounds like she's performing right in your living room!

- The Christmas Song. There's a lot of tough competition out there with this song, but She & Him's version is up there with the best.

THE LOVELY:
- I'll Be Home for Christmas. Like "Have Yourself..." the tempo is slowed down a bit for this one too. It doesn't translate quite as well, but still a stunning rendition.

- Christmas Wish. We get to hear more of "Him" on this track, and though he's no Zooey, it provides gorgeous contrast to the rest of the album and is a lovely merry relaxer.

- Sleigh Ride. Unexpectedly mellow for this usually upbeat number, but still works well.

- Christmas Day

- Blue Christmas

THE EH:

- Baby It's Cold Outside. The Christmas song Zooey is probably most famous for (from the movie Elf) is actually the worst track on the album IMO. For some reason the tempo is too fast and there is absolutely no chemistry between the singers. It sounds like they're so worried about singing on cue that they completely left out the story behind the song. Many performers have that problem with this song, but I was really disappointed to hear it on this album.

- Silver Bells. Not unlistenable by any means, but compared to pretty much every other version I've heard of this song, it isn't very good.

- Little Saint Nick. Just not a good match for Zooey's voice, IMO.

---

Overall, with only 3 so-so songs and about 9 really good if not great numbers, this is 2011's Christmas album to get. The voice and productions are unique, offering great mellowed-out versions of your holiday favorites in a way that hasn't been done before. I can easily recommend the whole album, but if you just feel like buying a single mp3 or two, obviously The Christmas Waltz is the best track on here. Absolutely timeless. Transformed an okay song into a masterpiece.
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53 of 65 people found the following review helpful
on October 24, 2011
Format: MP3 MusicVerified Purchase
I have collected Christmas music for years and once upon a time played it throughout the year. But I grew tired of all the predictable commercial releases. There was so little new under the sun that I stopped buying Christmas music. Then I heard the samples for this Amazon special today. I didn't know the group (sorry - love Zooey Deschanel in the movies - had no idea she sang) but loved the samples and thought it might be another $5.00 investment for a couple of decent songs. Wrong! Great album (can we still say album?) - great music. Try it and try not to smile. Beautiful, simple, fun and joyous. Thanks She & Him.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
on November 16, 2013
Format: MP3 MusicVerified Purchase
I LOVE Zooey Deschanel's voice, so I was super psyched when I saw she had a Christmas album. It is very low-key with sort of an island theme (features a ukelele). The part that I was not a fan of was the echo. There is heavy use of voice echo in this album, and I am just not a fan of that technique. To me it takes away from the singer's voice, and in this case, that is really disappointing since her voice is so lovely. I listen to a few songs, but most of it just sits in my library.
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33 of 42 people found the following review helpful
on October 24, 2011
Format: Audio CDVerified Purchase
I love almost all Christmas music, but this CD is even better than most! I love the nostalgic homey feel that the songs have. It doesn't have all the Christmas songs I would like, but I am just happy She & Him put out a Christmas CD! Merry Christmas!
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11 of 14 people found the following review helpful
on November 10, 2011
Format: Audio CDVerified Purchase
I just "discovered" Zooey Deschanel when I listened to the samples for this album -- didn't know what to expect -- but I love it.

My mom was a young newly wed during WWII and when I was a child (during the 50s and 60s)I loved to listen to her singing while she puttered around the house (surreptitiously, of course, didn't want to make her self conscious.) She was not a professional singer but had a lovely voice all the same. She sang song after song that sounded very much like this -- the same register, similar background music, a movingly adult-sounding alto voice. Zooey brightens it up a bit, but this album has sent me tripping down memory lane....

The WWII era had a lot in common with life right now in the US. Everything changing, people doing without basic necessities but keeping on all the same. This music has captured the soul of that time (now this time) with a haunting quality -- but not broody or melancholy -- that illustrates an ability to live in a way that was real and enjoy what they had, however meager.

It is obvious that Zooey loves to sing and with this album, she captures the mood of the post WWII era while sounding delightfully playful at the same time. I can't think of a better vehicle than a Christmas album to do this.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on December 25, 2011
Format: MP3 MusicVerified Purchase
I had never even heard of "She and Him" before this morning, but I bought the album and have been listening to it all day. It is one of the most enjoyable and relaxing Christmas albums I have ever heard; it just makes you feel good. Zooey is wonderful!
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on January 17, 2012
Format: Audio CD
Zooey Deschanel never ceases to please. This has quickly been added to the list of Christmas favorites. A personal favorite on this album is their rendition of "Blue Christmas", and their unique reversal of gender roles in "Baby It's Cold Outside."
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10 of 13 people found the following review helpful
Format: MP3 MusicVerified Purchase
I was not a huge fan of She & Him's first album, but my college-age daughter insisted I take her to their concert last spring and I became a convert. The interplay between the understated guitar playing of M. Ward and Zooey Deschanel's whispery vocals are a throwback to another era. And it's those very qualities that make this a very enjoyable--allbeit short--holiday album.

Highlights include "I'll Be Home for Christmas" and "Sleigh Ride" where M. Ward gets to show off his guitar chops, as well as a wonderful vocal duet on "Baby, It's Cold Outside" (which Zooey first performed on the ELF soundtrack). Also, as an amateur ukulele player myself, I thoroughly enjoyed Zooey's accompanying herself on the solo performance of "Sleigh Bells."

There's not a weak track on the album. If I have any complaint, it's the short running time and lack of a digital version of the CD booklet. But the music will make a wonderful addition to anyone's Christmas playlist. So pour yourself a glass of egg nog, throw another log on the fire, and enjoy. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED [Running Time - 32:08]
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on December 23, 2012
Format: MP3 MusicVerified Purchase
I have really enjoyed listening to this cd. It just has a different group singing typical Christmas songs. I enjoy listening to how different groups add their own touches to the classics.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on November 17, 2013
Format: MP3 MusicVerified Purchase
Different but fun the same. Her voice is not typical of a singing sensation, but it is a good type of different. I like to break up the Christmas music monotony by adding a little "seasoning" with soundtracks like this.
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