It’s never too early for Christmas music. At least, it certainly isn’t for She & Him, who released their new album, AA Very She & Him Christmas, on October 25th. And though the Yuletide is still two months away, this record is sure to put listeners in the mood.
Soft, sweet and delicate, A Very She & Him Christmas is exactly what you would expect a She & Him Christmas album to sound like. Yet, somehow its predictability is pleasing, in the same way that the predictability of the holiday season is one of the things that makes it so enjoyable. Zooey Deschanel and M. Ward didn’t even bother to write their own Christmas tunes; all the tracks are covers. But while it would have been nice to have new, modern-sounding Christmas songs a la Julian Casablancas (“I Wish It Was Christmas Today”), this record is a great one to add to the holiday music collection.
On top of characteristically minimalist instrumental arrangements, Deschanel delivers the old Christmas classics with charm, caressing the listener with dulcet vocal tones. This lends the record an endearing, nostalgic quality, which is precisely how Christmas music is meant to feel. The highlights are Sammy Cahn and Jule Styne’s “Christmas Waltz” (made famous by Frank Sinatra) and Frank Loesser’s classic “Baby, It’s Cold Outside.” These songs are most compatible with the She & Him style, seeing as they allow Deschanel and Ward to show off their aptitude for cutesy pop.
Still, as a record that effectively takes no risks, A Very She & Him Christmas will have listeners satisfied, but nothing more. It’s more or less like a mild-mannered relative at the Christmas party: You’re happy to see him, but he won’t liven things up. Nevertheless, like the album, you love him all the same.