Music by Her & the Other Guy

C: When well-known actors sing, it can be beautiful, hilarious, or plain bizarre.  When actors try to sing pop music rather than showtunes, the failure rate skyrockets.

The other day I was browsing “doodle videos” created by a Youtube user and came across a song called “Sentimental Heart” by a duo I’d never heard of, She & Him.  The song had a distinctly old-fashioned feel, like it should be on an LP.  I didn’t fall in love, but I liked it enough to look for more by the same artist.  Several of their songs have something of a twang, like “Change is Hard,” but the lyrics are interesting and sometimes clever.  “Thought I Saw Your Face Today” is a cute ballad and “Why Do You Let Me Stay Here” (the first single from their 2008 debut album “Volume One”) is jaunty and fun.

Visiting the group’s artistically nifty website, though, I also made an unexpected discovery.  The lead singer of She & Him is actress Zooey Deschanel, known for, among other things, a singing turn in the film Elf.  (Some may also know her as the sister of Emily Deschanel, aka Bones from Bones.)  The “He” in the duo is M. Ward, a producer and recording artist.  Evidently he worked on a movie she was in, she showed him a bunch of songs she’d written, and he decided to collaborate with her in producing them.

Zooey is an actress I’ve enjoyed in many things since her teen appearance in Mumford, and I was impressed by her rendering of “Baby, It’s Cold Outside” in Elf.  So it’s neat to see her branching out in this direction, though this style of music is not one of my favorites.  I’m speculating that E might be into it, though.

What do you all think?  Is it a good enough voice to sell records?  Are there other celebrities, known as actors first, whose forays into popular music you prefer?


5 comments on “Music by Her & the Other Guy

  1. M says:

    I liked it, and think she has a very good voice. The version of Baby Its Cold Outside she did with the awesome Leon Redbone is great, and from what I’ve listened to they as a style have a very 50’s kind of early rock and roll sound. Vocally she has a bit of a Sarah McLachlan quality to her voice (though not quite as, I don’t know, angelic sounding). I think they should be able to sell music (I don’t think just about anyone can sell “records” in the day of the mp3).

    Still she can’t compare to this:

  2. E says:

    I’m not sure anything beats NPH and Jason Segal’s duet, though. Every single kind of awesome.

  3. Kyley says:

    I was excited about this because I was so enamored of her singing in Elf, and I’ve loved M. Ward for a long time. While I like the song you linked too, I find their CD really boring. I’ll give them another try if they came out with another CD, but so far I’m, sadly, not a fan.

    • C says:

      Yeah, I wasn’t really into it either. Like I said in the post, I like her, and I like the idea of her doing an album, but the result doesn’t do anything for me.

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