I do not as a rule approve of Christmas albums, call me Scrooge but they leave me feeling as festive as a pink fibre-light tree in a novelty supermarket aisle at Easter. (I once had a flat mate who insisted on decorating the house with one of these all year round). However, this is She & Him, that delectable combination of musician and actress that doesn’t actually set my teeth on edge, and this is the girl from everyone’s favourite Christmas film Elf - she knows how to rock around the Christmas tree, surely? So I’ll don a sprig of holly and roast some chestnuts; as we all know, the best way to spread Christmas cheer is singing loud for all to hear...
The first two songs on the album make me want to curl up with rigor mortis while yelling 'bah humbug!' as loudly as I can. It’s a Christmas coma! I suppose these songs are designed specifically to fill the silent spaces of lifts, escalators and car parks so we shouldn’t be too offended by their tawdry tone and snore-inducing slowness, but it is painful to the ears. Might be a good present for Grandma, if her hearing-aid is faulty.
'Silver Bells' is one of the only redeeming songs - as always, Deschanel’s voice is a delight, rich and full of humour, old fashioned, lavelly. Only a strumming guitar to accompany her. Things perk up a little with 'Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree' although this does sound suspiciously like Baby’s older sister rehearsing her number for the farewell show in Dirty Dancing.
The most charming winter song ever written ('Baby It’s Cold Outside') is turned into a bizarrely sped up version with Zooey taking the male vocals; it sounds helium-induced and looses all the wit of the lyrics. Dean Martin would be turning in his grave.
All in all a damp squib that fails to fan any festive flame, sorry.