Zooey Deschanel and M Ward are on to their third album as She & Him (not counting their Christmas efforts), and there's not much in the way of surprises – this is swinging country-pop with a girl-group backbone, as has always been their way. The problem is that this sickly concoction is often overcooked. I've Got Your Number, Son has a nice line in Loretta Lynn lyrical sass, but it's drenched in horns and backing harmonies – as elsewhere, there's simply so much going on that it chips away at any potential charm. But when they go easy on the twee, and take their feet off the reverb pedal, there's more to admire. London, a simple piano ballad, and Shadow of Love, play out the album with melancholic restraint. It seems a spoonful of medicine helps the sugar go down.
Rebecca Nicholson is a columnist for the Observer and the Guardian