She & Him - 'Classics'

7/10

After releasing their third studio album in the middle of last year, the musical pairing of She & Him have returned with their latest covers album. Originally releasing a Christmas-themed tribute record 'A Very She & Him Christmas' at the end of 2011, the seasonal timing of this new collection makes it an appropriate follow up to their last, even if this one isn't so obviously named. Featuring a host of familiar titles like 'Stars Fell On Alabama', 'Time After Time' and 'Unchained Melody', this new work fits suitably in to their sombre back-catalogue and showcases their unique approach to composition.

While it is not technically a Christmas record, you can't help but feel that that is the angle they were looking for. The general warmth and laid-back approach taken to these covers brings up images of sleepy Winter nights and family gatherings like nothing else. Deschannel's instantly identifiable vocals layer on this thick feeling of calming heartache that fits suitably over the cold and damp weather we've all had to endure of late, and gives the album an overall sense of accepted sorrow.

It can usually be a bit of a gamble for a successful band to release a covers album so early in their career, but She & Him have this purpose built sound that seems to turn any song into a beautiful heart-wrenching piece of work that allows the album to have focus and direction, no matter how distant the originals may seem.

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