She & Him & Me

Girls want to be Zooey Deschanel, and guys want to do her. If there’s another reason for She & Him’s popularity, I haven’t been able to figure it out, and their new album just reinforces that — it’s the kind of record that deserves to be titled Volume Two. About the only thing that stands out is their cover of NRBQ’s “Ridin’ in My Car,” and that’s only because it’s such an inappropriate choice; Deschanel isn’t a bad singer, per se, but her delivery is all about cool detachment (and/or hipster-flavored boredom), neither of which have anything to do with the Q.

Bruce Willis never would have had a record deal if he hadn’t been Bruce Willis, and no matter how cute she is, or how capably she carries these very, very slight songs, I think the same is true of Zooey Deschanel. Except where Willis was at least using his smirk to refract some of his celebrity, Blues Brothers style, on performers like Johnny Winter and Merry Clayton, Deschanel is just doing the same thing you can hear in any random L.A. nightclub on most weeknights.

Volume Two doesn’t come out until next week, but you can already stream the whole thing for free, thanks to NPR.

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