She & Him, 'A She & Him Christmas' (2011)
What would Christmas be without a little manic pixie dream girl magic? And Zooey Deschanel and M. Ward sprinkle it just lightly enough on this enjoyably slight set. Like She & Him's other records, there's a spare, unfussy elegance here – it's just Ward's supple guitar, piano or ukulele and Deschanal's retro-melancholic singing (with subtle help from legendary studio drummer Jim Keltner on a couple tracks). Their bell-clear take on the Beach Boys' "Christmas Day" is like sunshine on new snow; Zooey gets her country on during "Blue Christmas"; and on "I'll Be Home For Christmas," she sounds like an Andrews Sister with a nagging case of seasonal affect disorder, in a good way.
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