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Volume One

M. Ward, She & HimAudio CD
4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (162 customer reviews)

Price: $12.57 & FREE Shipping on orders over $35. Details
o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o
 : Includes FREE MP3 version of this album.
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MP3 Music, 13 Songs, 2008 $5.99  
Audio CD, 2008 $12.57  
Vinyl, 2008 $16.76  

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Volume One + She & Him - Volume Two + Volume 3
Price for all three: $33.45

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Product Details

  • Audio CD (March 18, 2008)
  • Original Release Date: 2008
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Merge Records
  • ASIN: B0012IWHQO
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (162 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #5,204 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

1. Sentimental Heart
2. Why Do You Let Me Stay Here?
3. This Is Not A Test
4. Change Is Hard
5. I Thought I Saw Your Face Today
6. Take It Back
7. I Was Made For You
8. You Really Gotta Hold On Me
9. Black Hole
10. Got Me
11. I Should Have Known Better
12. Sweet Darlin'

Editorial Reviews

Some of us first fell in love with Zooey Deschanel's distinctive and charming voice when she crooned, "Baby it’s cold outside," with Will Ferrell in their 2003 movie, Elf. Then, in concert last summer, M.Ward invited Deschanel to the stage, where they effortlessly created the equivalent of musical utopia. In their first recorded collaboration as She & Him, Deschanel and Ward strike the same sincerity with his nostalgic production and her retro resonance. Cover songs such as "You Really Got a Hold on Me," previously performed by Smokey Robinson and the Miracles, gain a newfound heartache and undeniable splendor. Bring on Volume 2. --Amanda MacKinnon

Product Description

This is the musical debut from M. Ward and Zooey Deschanel, paired together by director Martin Hayens to perform the Richard and Linda Thompson tune "When I Get To The Border" for his film "The Go-Getter". Their match sparked the idea for "Volume One". Limited touring this spring.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
166 of 172 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars California soul at 33 rpm April 17, 2008
Format:Audio CD
Zooey Deschanel is definitely a child of California's better nature. On her and M. Ward's first record, she harks back to the golden era of the Golden State, somewhere between Sweetheart of the Rodeo and Heart Like a Wheel, when singer-songwriters from all corners of the US, Canada, and Britain were all in Cali making laid-back, radio-friendly records with a country bent. From the first listen, it's clear how steeped she is in her parents' record collection. (They were both active in Hollywood during that time, so I'm assuming it's their influence. NB - Her father Caleb did the cinematography for A Woman Under the Influence. +1000 Cali points.)

OK, so that might not be everyone's cup of tea. I've seen 1-star reviews on here deriding this record as pedestrian fluff, and fair game, I suppose. A lot of great records are pedestrian fluff by that reckoning. Carole King's Tapestry, for instance, divides a lot of music lovers. Is a record "Easy Listening" just because it's easy to listen to? Some people prefer mutton to lamb because they like to have something to chew on, and who am I to tell them that's wrong?

It's really about what you grew up with. Put on Simon & Garfunkel - Greatest Hits in a room full of people and you'll immediately separate the teary-eyed from the disinterested. That's the same kind of reaction this record seems to be generating.
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43 of 44 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars One day, we'll all be cool May 2, 2008
Format:Audio CD
I agree, it's not exactly re-inventing the wheel but Volume One from She & Him is a solidly enjoyable listen. Zooey Deschanel channels Petula Clark while M. Ward duly fills in the 60s blanks. What's not to like? The production is lovingly detailed, creating cozy spaces for the listener to relax. The opening track, "Sentimental Heart", is a good example. Try listening to it on headphones and you can enjoy the dueling piano and staccato violin that build up to the bright sunshine of the outro. "I Was Made For You" is another highlight, though not wholly original. If you've cruised by an oldies radio station, you'll swear that the drum, guitar riff, and backing vocals have been nicked from somewhere else and you're probably right. But come on, look me in the eye and tell me it doesn't rock, motherf%#!

There are a few covers scattered here and there but Deschanel gets full songwriting credit for the bulk of the songs, which is quite impressive. The songs are thoughtfully constructed, the melodies strong, and the lyrics heartfelt. The only negatives are that Deschanel's vocal range is limited (or perhaps not on display) and she has a goes overboard on belting out certain syllables. Still though, I think pretty much any musician would be envious of Deschanel's singing and songwriting talent.

Lastly, it's nice to see Hollywood types crossing over to the music realm in a non-painful manner (for once). I mean, sweet merciful Allah on a cross! What on earth were you thinking Scarlett Johansson?

P.S. To the reviewer who commented that the vocals sound like she's singing into a toilet: it's called plate reverb.
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65 of 75 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars poignant and sweet April 28, 2008
Format:Audio CD
Let's stop talking about who she is, and let's focus on how she does. Ms. Deschanel does not have a strong voice, but it is sincere and sweet. I've read reviews of their shows, and she can be nervous at the start--likely because she doesn't project that well, but also because these songs are very dear to her. There is no irony here, nothing sardonic--no hiding behind the cool pose. She puts it all out there, as best she can, and it brings back the California/country AM radio of the 1970s. It's very likable, if not too profound or ambitious.
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12 of 14 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Could be so much better. April 11, 2008
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
I can't think of any better word to describe my overall feeling after listening to this a few times... disappointed.

Zooey's voice has haunting quality, this bittersweet painfulness that can easily pull at your heart strings. Yet, for reasons not clear to me the production wasn't done in a way to get the best out of her vocally. In some passages it feels very forced, like she's reading off a lyric sheet in front of her, yet somtimes 10 seconds later in the same song she'll reach a passage where you can tell her heart is in it, it's note perfect, and it starts stirring that emotion inside you.

For example on "Take it Back". The first line, the word "It" wavers and is clearly flat, and not in a good slidey jazzy way, just seems like no one cared to get her to do this line over. yet a few seconds later she's deep in note perfect soulful emotion. I don't understand why they wouldn't take the few extra minutes to capture that magic all over the record. Unfortunately, when Zooey isn't there emotionally with her voice, is sounds strained and is distracting. I KNOW she is capable of a much much better vocal performance. In the brilliantly performed passages, there's nothing like it, so the proof is right there for you to hear.

Song-wise, the best songs for her are the ones she's written. I can do without the Beatles cover. It isn't very good. Beatles covers are precarious ground to cover in my opinion. If you aren't going to do something really really great with it, don't do it. The songs are close to as brilliantly written, performed, arranged as they are going to be on the Beatles' recordings. The absolutely high point for her vocally is the unlisted recording of what sounds like her in a noisy room singing Swing Low Sweet Chariot.
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Indie Music Only good about half the time?
Maybe I'm not as discerning a listener as you all, but I find I don't have the time to consume all the great music so many bands I like are putting out. In 2012, Craig Finn's solo album, Clear Heart, Full Eyes, the Heartless Bastards, The Arrow, The Walkmen's Heaven, Murder By Death's Bitter... Read More
Dec 10, 2012 by J. Luiz |  See all 4 posts
I just listened to "Why Do You Let Me Say Here?"
Thank you, this song gives me a much better idea of the album :). She is slated to appear on the Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson tonight =)
May 1, 2008 by Lycanthropy |  See all 2 posts
if m ward were the beatles
M. Ward is not the Beatles, and this is not a half bad album. It's just a little nostalgic candy.
Oct 24, 2009 by Douglas D. Evans |  See all 4 posts
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