Label: Merge Link: www.myspace.com/sheandhim She & Him is made up of multi-instrumentalist and all around music man M. Ward plus the extremely talented Zooey Deschanel. This pairing seems like a meeting in heaven with Deschanel penning the lyrics and M. Ward creating the backing. I wont comment on any previous work done by Deschanel as i don't have the authority to do so, but when it comes to M. Ward i will. I'm just not a fan. Ok, his work on Post-War was alright but the only reason it's still in my itunes library is down to the few collaborations involved and to be fair this can be said of his back catalogue too, but with Deschanel it works. It's by no means perfect but the difference between this and M. Wards solo work is that at not point in this record did i feel any sense of boredom. Which has got to be a good thing. Reading the blurb about the album apparently they made their debut record as a love letter to the musicians who inspired it. Pretentious? Most certainly. But the PR people are pretty accurate with this one. The overall feel of this record is just so perfect. I feel, with every listen, I'm slowly morphing into some sort of Indiana Jones character finding hidden gems but this time around I've found some forgotten tape from the early twentieth century of some country pop duo. It's the sort of music that's so accessible that it will make you happy to call yourself a country fan. The warmth in the music is spot on too and says a lot about M. Wards production skills. Deschanel isn't resting on her laurels here either as her lyrics fit the style perfectly and act as a faithful nod back to classic country love songs. You won't go a few lines without hearing some reference to love, but thankfully it's never in a soppy way but more in a defiant way. "I don't want your loving anymore, it's not you who i sing for"  What i like about this record is the fact that although it's predominately alt-country you still get touches of other genres, like the doo-wop feel of 'I Was Made For You' and the surfery Beach Boys feel of 'I Should Have Known Better'.  You might think this record would rate quite highly considering all the nice things i've said but i do have some criticisms, which ultimately bring down the rating quite a bit.  It's obvious they have the talent to come up with a good idea but i often felt they lacked the imagination to complete them. Quite often a feeling of disappointment would wash over me as yet another song with a bucket full of potential would end abruptly or just teeter off into nothingness. But my biggest criticism is the lack of M. Wards vocals. They combine so well with Deschanel's vocals, especially on 'You Really Got A Hold On Me', yet we only get treated to that combo on a couple of songs. Ok, it does make those songs extra special but i still feel his voice could have been represented a lot more. I'm pretty sure this won't make my end of year list, or many peoples to be fair, but nonetheless it's a solid record with a enough good songs to satisfy anyone in the mood for some good old fashioned pop/country.  I'm just hoping Volume two will be more Him & She than just She & a touch of him. Highlight/Download: I Was Made For You Rating: 7/10