Album Review | POP

She & Him, ‘Volume 3’

As She & Him, actress Zooey Deschanel and singer-guitarist M. Ward share a specific brand of chemistry. She’s the irrepressible spirit of the indie-pop duo, and he tends to work in the shadows as the driving musical force. One couldn’t exist without the other, and that’s been clear since they debuted with 2008’s “Volume One.” That record established their blueprint: a wistful stroll through American pop music where Les Paul & Mary Ford rub elbows with the Beach Boys and the Kinks. She & Him stick to the script on “Volume 3,” balancing Deschanel’s originals with a handful of covers (“Hold Me, Thrill Me, Kiss Me” and Blondie’s “Sunday Girl”). Deschanel comes from the tradition of singers not technically impressive but charismatic enough to cast a spell. (At her best, as on “Never Wanted Your Love” and “I’ve Got Your Number, Son,” she channels Nancy Sinatra.) Ward’s fretwork is excellent throughout, and it’s nice to hear his voice on a spirited duet of “Baby.” (Out Tuesday)

James Reed


She & Him play at Bank of America Pavilion on July 10.

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