Drawing inspiration, both musically and artistically, from classic holiday offerings from the likes of the Carpenters, the Beach Boys, and Vince Guaraldi, M. Ward and Zooey Deschanel's third outing under the She & Him moniker finds the impossibly quirky duo tackling its first collection of Christmas music. A Very She & Him Christmas is all about the kitsch, from the retro packaging complete with a hyper-stylized photo shot by photographer Autumn De Wilde and liner notes in the form of a signed Christmas card, to the swingin’ choices, many of which are culled from the aforementioned Carpenters/Beach Boys outings. Musically, the duo keeps things simple, utilizing guitar and vocals, peppered with the occasional bit of percussion, ukulele, or organ. Deschanel handles the majority of the leads, and when she stays in a lower register (“The Christmas Song,” “Blue Christmas”) the results can be winning, especially when they’re slathered in classic, Les Paul/Mary Ford-inspired slapback delay. However, busier cuts like “Sleigh Ride,” “Little Saint Nick,” and “Christmas Day” reveal a charming yet pitchy vocalist with all of the inflections of a classic torch singer, and none of the discipline.
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AllMusic Review by James Christopher Monger