SHE & HIM
A Very She & Him Christmas
There’s a lot of cultural clutter surrounding She & Him. A collaboration between dour axman M. Ward and profession al pixie Zooey Deschanel, the duo traffics in the sort of smoky jazz-pop simulacra that can enrage as easily as it enchants. The pair’s previous two albums are rarely judged on their considerable, catchy merits; instead they’re treated like balloons set adrift on the constantly shifting headwinds of hipster taste. But perhaps, in the spirit of the holidays, it’s best to drop all preconceptions about this stocking stuffer: It’s an unpretentious collection of merry standards (“Silver Bells,” “Baby It’s Cold Outside”) and zippy curios. “Giddyap, it’s grand!” Deschanel coos sweetly, and it’s not hard to picture her standing under some mistletoe.