She & Him, 'A Very She & Him Christmas' (Merge)

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A Very She & Him Christmas
Critical Mass
Release Date: October 24, 2011
Label: Merge

by David Menconi

Sufjan Stevens brought indie rock to the Yuletide table, and She & Him's wistful cuteness is an even safer bet -- though their inevitable album of holiday standards could stand a shade less reverence. The mood ranges from melancholic to lighthearted, with nods to various Crooners of Christmas Past (Frank Sinatra, Elvis, Brenda Lee) throughout. "Baby It's Cold Outside" is the money shot, with M. Ward standing in for Zooey Deschanel's Elf costar Will Ferrell, and their gender-role reversal is a nice twist: Now she's trying to talk him into staying, and what fool could resist?

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