Usually when actors cut an album, it usually turns out bad – very bad. Think David Hasselhoff, Eddie Murphy, Bruce Willis. Yeah, you get the picture.
Every once in a while, though, someone surprises you. Jason Schwartzman (Rushmore) was in Phantom Planet, and Minnie Driver turned out to have a nice voice.
Now there’s Zooey Deschanel, whose film credits include Almost Famous, Elf and The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy. She and singer-songwriter M. Ward have combined talents to form She & Him, and their debut album, Volume 1, is a delight.
Deschanel is an adequate singer, not spectacular, but she makes up for any shortfalls in her songwriting – beautiful phrasing and heartfelt lyrics made only more heartwarming by Ward’s orchestration, which brings to mind Phil Spector’s Wall of Sound. The result is an alt-country, 60s-girl-group sound that is harmless and utterly charming. This is one worth listening to.