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Volume One

Price: CDN$ 18.26 & FREE Shipping on orders over CDN$ 25. Details
Only 2 left in stock (more on the way).
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20 new from CDN$ 12.63 4 used from CDN$ 12.32

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Volume One + Volume 2 + Volume 3 (Vinyl)
Price For All Three: CDN$ 60.55

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  • Volume 2 CDN$ 17.25

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Product Details

  • Audio CD (March 18 2008)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: ADA [Wea 1-Stop Account]
  • ASIN: B0012IWHQO
  • Other Editions: Audio CD  |  LP Record
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #13,147 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

1. Sentimental Heart
2. Why Do You Let Me Stay Here?
3. This Is Not A Test
4. Change Is Hard
5. I Thought I Saw Your Face Today
6. Take It Back
7. I Was Made For You
8. You Really Got A Hold On Me
9. Black Hole
10. Got Me
11. I Should Have Known Better
12. Sweet Darlin'
13. Swing Low, Sweet Chariot

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Customer Reviews

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Most helpful customer reviews

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By J. Subotin on Jan. 31 2009
Format: Audio CD
"making music the old-fashioned way: by hand - and with as few machines as humanly possible"
Music the way music should be. Puts Britney, Christina, Rihanna to shame.
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
The music on this album was relaxing, neat, and easy to listen to, but never boring. The overall sound was something of a combination of the softer elements of indie rock, with the rock part replaced by an old-style folk sound.
This album is like a cup of warm tea with honey and golden rays of sunshine coming in your window in the morning.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By K. L. M. Sinnis on June 29 2008
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
I am a big fan of Zooey Deschanel as an actress, and while reading an article about her, I came to discover that she had a CD out! I checked out the website for She & Him, and "Why Do You Let Me Stay Here?" was playing in the background. I immediately fell in love with the sound of her voice, and the music. My favourite song on the CD is "I Thought I Saw Your Face Today".

Very easy listening, and reminds me of music from the 60s and 70s. Something you don't really hear anymore. I love it.
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0 of 4 people found the following review helpful A Kid's Review on July 12 2009
Format: Audio CD
When I first heard Zooey Deschanels voice in Elf I thought it was one of the most beautiful voices I have ever heard. It still is, but she was really meant for jazz. I was disappointed to see that this album mixed 50's music with Country and Pop (although the label says Pop)and showed none of her real vocal talents (although she does show her song writing talents).It was a combination that some people might find enjoyable, most likely older listeners, but, although it wasn't exactly a BAD listen, it just wasn't a GOOD listen. It wasn't at all what I had hoped it to be.
This CD may be a big disappointment after hearing her wonderful voice on the comedy Elf; but I suppose that I MIGHT recommend this to older listeners, ones interested in 50's music (by the way, I was not calling you OLD, I was calling you OLDER than me).
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 157 reviews
166 of 172 people found the following review helpful
California soul at 33 rpm April 17 2008
By S. Yates - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
Zooey Deschanel is definitely a child of California's better nature. On her and M. Ward's first record, she harks back to the golden era of the Golden State, somewhere between Sweetheart of the Rodeo and Heart Like a Wheel, when singer-songwriters from all corners of the US, Canada, and Britain were all in Cali making laid-back, radio-friendly records with a country bent. From the first listen, it's clear how steeped she is in her parents' record collection. (They were both active in Hollywood during that time, so I'm assuming it's their influence. NB - Her father Caleb did the cinematography for A Woman Under the Influence. +1000 Cali points.)

OK, so that might not be everyone's cup of tea. I've seen 1-star reviews on here deriding this record as pedestrian fluff, and fair game, I suppose. A lot of great records are pedestrian fluff by that reckoning. Carole King's Tapestry, for instance, divides a lot of music lovers. Is a record "Easy Listening" just because it's easy to listen to? Some people prefer mutton to lamb because they like to have something to chew on, and who am I to tell them that's wrong?

It's really about what you grew up with. Put on Simon & Garfunkel - Greatest Hits in a room full of people and you'll immediately separate the teary-eyed from the disinterested. That's the same kind of reaction this record seems to be generating. Maybe some people didn't really grow up with music, and their only touchstones are the Postal Service and the Shins, and so they're disappointed that this record doesn't strike any chords with them. But for those who love Gram Parsons, Loretta Lynn, Diana Ross, Kate and Anna McGarrigle, and - oh, let's say the Shangri-Las - then this record is sure to feel warm and familiar.

Part of that is the "sound". Nice touches abound, including choice backing vocals, strings, pedal steel, pianos, etc., but M. Ward's production thankfully doesn't sex it up too much, instead faithfully showcasing the lovely voice of Ms. Deschanel. She sings about as pretty as she looks (and about as smart as she talks), which will be obvious to anyone who has seen Elf or, more recently, her movie-stealing minor turn in The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford. Her songwriting is also remarkable, partly because it's surprisingly good and partly because it's so very anachronistic. It sounds like she went around collecting songs with a time machine.

A few choice covers polish it off. "You Really Got a Hold On Me" carries on the very California tradition of covering or writing for soul musicians, as per Janis Joplin, Carole King, the Flying Burrito Bros, though it's mostly done in the same vein as M. Ward's weeping-willow cover of David Bowie's "Let's Dance". A lilting luau rendiditon of the Beatles' "I Should Have Known Better" would feel right at home on Ry Cooder's Chicken Skin Music. She curiously closes the record with the Negro spiritual "Swing Low, Sweet Chariot", a fairly innocuous choice which puts the record to bed.

Overall, this record is just an unexpected treat for fans of Ms. Deschanel. As for the criticism that's going around, like that her stage presence isn't great in youtube videos of her first ever live performances of her own songs, it seems a bit harsh. The "pedestrian fluff" argument also seems a bit off the mark, since to me that would mean doing the kind of Michelle Branch-style acoustic rock that most females with guitars seem doomed to play. On the contrary, Volume One is a smart, disarming record that manages to be sweet without being precious, smart without being self-conscious, and retro without oversimplifying or resorting to gimmicks. 5 stars sounds about right.
43 of 44 people found the following review helpful
One day, we'll all be cool May 2 2008
By Invisigoth - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
I agree, it's not exactly re-inventing the wheel but Volume One from She & Him is a solidly enjoyable listen. Zooey Deschanel channels Petula Clark while M. Ward duly fills in the 60s blanks. What's not to like? The production is lovingly detailed, creating cozy spaces for the listener to relax. The opening track, "Sentimental Heart", is a good example. Try listening to it on headphones and you can enjoy the dueling piano and staccato violin that build up to the bright sunshine of the outro. "I Was Made For You" is another highlight, though not wholly original. If you've cruised by an oldies radio station, you'll swear that the drum, guitar riff, and backing vocals have been nicked from somewhere else and you're probably right. But come on, look me in the eye and tell me it doesn't rock, motherf%#!

There are a few covers scattered here and there but Deschanel gets full songwriting credit for the bulk of the songs, which is quite impressive. The songs are thoughtfully constructed, the melodies strong, and the lyrics heartfelt. The only negatives are that Deschanel's vocal range is limited (or perhaps not on display) and she has a goes overboard on belting out certain syllables. Still though, I think pretty much any musician would be envious of Deschanel's singing and songwriting talent.

Lastly, it's nice to see Hollywood types crossing over to the music realm in a non-painful manner (for once). I mean, sweet merciful Allah on a cross! What on earth were you thinking Scarlett Johansson?

P.S. To the reviewer who commented that the vocals sound like she's singing into a toilet: it's called plate reverb.
65 of 75 people found the following review helpful
poignant and sweet April 28 2008
By Moten Swing - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
Let's stop talking about who she is, and let's focus on how she does. Ms. Deschanel does not have a strong voice, but it is sincere and sweet. I've read reviews of their shows, and she can be nervous at the start--likely because she doesn't project that well, but also because these songs are very dear to her. There is no irony here, nothing sardonic--no hiding behind the cool pose. She puts it all out there, as best she can, and it brings back the California/country AM radio of the 1970s. It's very likable, if not too profound or ambitious.
49 of 64 people found the following review helpful
...And She Sings Too! March 18 2008
By Cale E. Reneau - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
Like most people, the first time that I had my suspicions about actress Zooey Deschanel being a talented vocalist came from that scene in Elf where she sings in the shower as Will Ferrell's character listens. Volume One is not a collection of Christmas Carrols, and Will Ferrell is not the "Him" mentioned in the band - that title goes to the somewhat reputable, M. Ward. Unsurprisingly, the "Him" is pretty deemphasized on the album, letting Zooey shine as a vocalist and a songwriter. The result is a surprisingly solid, moderately impressive debut from a woman that proves that she's more than just a dumb crossover act.

Most of Volume One is filled with songs that throwback to classic pop and country sounds, and all of them are at least partially written by Deschanel, herself. "I Thought I Saw Your Face Today" just makes me think of Zooey singing this song in a long dress through one of those old-timey radio microphones. Sweeping strings and subtle guitars emphasize the right moments, and carefree whistles really add a sense of playfulness that make the song feel more authentic. "Change Is Hard" conveys more of a classic country picture, like the obligatory scene in every music biopic where the artist plays in a radio studio over the air for the first time as stunned personnel look on in awe. Deschanel's lyrics are often a bit simplistic, but Ward, as producer, is able to utilize them in ways that mask their mediocrity.

That's never more apparent than on the album's standout track "Why Do You Let Me Stay Here?" Zooey sings, "Why do you let me stay here all by myself? Why don't you come and play here? I'm just sitting on the shelf." First off, rhyming "self" with "shelf" is one of the easiest and most-overused schemes in songwriting. It rarely makes any sense, as is the case here. I mean, who actually sits on a shelf? Small gripe, I know, but the point is that the lyric - which is pretty pivotal in the song - is barely a bother because the song itself is so fun and captivating. Ward's production, filled with dancing pianos, wonderfully-used guitars, and some of the best background vocals I've heard in ages, manages to wipe away any blemish that Zooey might have brought on herself.

But Volume One is never an album that tries to be overly complicated or impressive. As a side project for both artists, it more or less feels like they just set out to had fun. That feeling is conveyed pretty often too. Album opener, "Sentimental Heart" is just begging for you to add your own vocals, and "I Was Made For You" doesn't even come close to being a meaningful or memorable song. It's simply a way for the two musicians to have fun. Fans of Ward's vocal work may be a bit disappointed with the album, as this is really Zooey's chance to shine, but there are a few moments here and there (like on "You Really Gotta Hold On Me") where he peeks his head above the water and makes his presence clearly known.

Sadly, as I hinted above, Zooey's first musical endeavor is not near as quirky or interesting as the characters she often plays in the movies. There seems to be this trend in the indie music world for female musicians to pay tribute to , or imitate the classic artists who influenced them. Like Jenny Lewis' debut solo LP, Volume One isn't going to sound very original or inspired and as a result it isn't all that memorable either. Let's be honest, folks are going to pick up this album because it's Zooey Deschanel and they may even give it some solid spins for a few weeks, but it's lack of originality might just serve as it's downfall. Still, Zooey's voice is just as charming as ever, and her personality manages to seep its way into every song on Volume One. That alone is enough reason for me to give it a solid recommendation. Needless to say, if you found yourself falling in love with that scene in Elf, She & Him might just be worth checking out.

Key Tracks:
1. "Sentimental Heart"
2. "Why Do You Let Me Stay Here?"
3. "This Is Not a Test"
4. "I Thought I Saw Your Face Today"
5. "Black Hole"

7 out of 10 Stars
12 of 14 people found the following review helpful
Could be so much better. April 11 2008
By Tico J. Punk - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
I can't think of any better word to describe my overall feeling after listening to this a few times... disappointed.

Zooey's voice has haunting quality, this bittersweet painfulness that can easily pull at your heart strings. Yet, for reasons not clear to me the production wasn't done in a way to get the best out of her vocally. In some passages it feels very forced, like she's reading off a lyric sheet in front of her, yet somtimes 10 seconds later in the same song she'll reach a passage where you can tell her heart is in it, it's note perfect, and it starts stirring that emotion inside you.

For example on "Take it Back". The first line, the word "It" wavers and is clearly flat, and not in a good slidey jazzy way, just seems like no one cared to get her to do this line over. yet a few seconds later she's deep in note perfect soulful emotion. I don't understand why they wouldn't take the few extra minutes to capture that magic all over the record. Unfortunately, when Zooey isn't there emotionally with her voice, is sounds strained and is distracting. I KNOW she is capable of a much much better vocal performance. In the brilliantly performed passages, there's nothing like it, so the proof is right there for you to hear.

Song-wise, the best songs for her are the ones she's written. I can do without the Beatles cover. It isn't very good. Beatles covers are precarious ground to cover in my opinion. If you aren't going to do something really really great with it, don't do it. The songs are close to as brilliantly written, performed, arranged as they are going to be on the Beatles' recordings. The absolutely high point for her vocally is the unlisted recording of what sounds like her in a noisy room singing Swing Low Sweet Chariot. These classic folk songs are where she shines, and a lot of this record sounds contrived. A lot of Be My Baby-ish attempts are made, and though they sound pretty authentic, I just don't think this is where her voice shines. It shows limitations instead of showcasing her natural abilities.

In any case, I'm still listening. It's definitely fun, I just can't get thru it without being annoyed by the fact that I KNOW if a little more work was done in the studio she could have nailed it beginning note to last.

Keep singing Zooey. We like it. That slow croony Kline/Clooney/Holiday vibe is where you shine. We're thankful to have another great singer in this vein. Make us cry. You can do it.

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