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She & Him

A Very She & Him Christmas

(Merge; US: 25 Oct 2011)

Blame it on the non-stop Christmas-song radio in every retail store you walk into post-Thanksgiving, or blame it on the fantastically repetitious renditions of songs you’ve heard a million times by musicians you’ve stopped caring about, but Christmas music stopped garnering excitement for most of us quite a few years ago. You could also blame it on the cynicism of a Jewish kid who spent most of his Christmas’ alone with a box of chicken lo mein, an egg roll, and 12 reruns of A Christmas Story.


But never mind all that: whether you’re sick of it or not, A Very She & Him Christmas is plain beautiful.


As this is Zooey Deschanel and M. Ward’s third release under the name She & Him, it should come as no surprise that, though Deschanel may not have the perfect voice, it’s still altogether charming. Actually, there is not much about their Christmas album that is surprising, it’s exactly what you’d expect from this duo: a calm, simple and easy to listen to recording to sit with and relax.


Having taken some inspiration for song structure from bands like the Beach Boys and the Carpenters, but still maintaining the charm, beauty, and balance of the classic arrangements, She & Him have constructed exactly what they should have. My suggestion: press play on Christmas morning with your family, and give them yet another reason to think you’re way ahead of the times, but still wholesome enough to wear those pajamas with the feet without looking like a complete liar. For me, I’ll add it to the list of things that make Christmas worthwhile, no matter how sick of Chinese food I am.

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Jonathan Kosakow has been a regular contributor for PopMatters since 2009, and became Associate Events Editor two years later. He contributes to Glide Magazine's Hidden Track blog (www.hiddentrackblog.com), both on his own and as a member of the editorial collective Three Grown Men. His writing has also appeared on Relix.com and Jambands.com, but most of it can be found on the floor of his apartment or stashed away in files on his computer. Jonathan recently earned his Graduate Certificate in Creative Writing from the University of Denver, and does his best to be an active member of the music and writing community in the Denver/Boulder area. He is the Director of Operations at the Boulder-based company Eco Vessel, and is the co-founder of the music-related website NoiseReport.net, and the beer-related blog beermadeclear.com, both currently in production.


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