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CD Review: She & Him 

Volume One

The Deal: Actress Zooey Deschanel teams up with guitarist M. Ward for debut release.

The Good: Deschanel tries to prove that she can rise above the stereotypical heap of Hollywood singers that has come before her – Minnie Driver, Peter Gallagher, Kevin Bacon, Russell Crowe, etc. Jazzy, pop, bluesy and retro, Volume One offers a range of styles – and two cover songs. The indie cred she carries in her acting life carries over into the music world. Refreshingly, she has avoided trying to create something commercial.

The Bad: There's a ton of potential in a cover of Smokey Robinson's "You Really Gotta Hold On Me." The fact it sounds like it was recorded in a bathroom gives it some charm, but some off-key harmonies take away from it. The countrified version of "I Should Have Known Better" is nearly as painful to listen to as the recent covers on American Idol.

The Verdict: Most people have heard Deschanel's voice in Elf and this disc shows off her vocal talent. Probably more than just another actress trying to branch out – she could survive as a singer. Often the album sounds like it's stuck in the '70s, but, most of the time, it's got enough character to sound modern, as well.

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