Christmas Party

Christmas Party

by She & Him

CD

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Overview

Christmas Party is the second collection of Christmas covers from Zooey Deschanel and M. Ward, who write and perform together as She & Him. Their sixth LP in total, it follows the duo's 2014 non-holiday covers album Classics and sticks to an established area of expertise: broadly, 20th century pop. Unlike Classics, which featured a 20-piece orchestra, Christmas Party brings a core combo of guitar, bass, and drums to the soirée, along with a healthy dose of reverb and a handful of embellishments. Guest performers include Steve Shelley of Sonic Youth, who plays drums on over half of the album. Drawing mostly from the post-"White Christmas" holiday song heyday of the '40s and '50s, but from other decades as well, it includes a version of the ubiquitous '90s hit "All I Want for Christmas Is You" by Mariah Carey, which opens the set. Different enough to make it worth tackling, this rendition offers the warm, velvety tone of Deschanel along with a Phil Spector girl group philosophy on an arrangement that includes the full band, saxophone, and group backing vocals. Later, Ward takes the lead on "Run Run Rudolph," with backing singers that include Deschanel and the Chapin Sisters, though Ward's guitar is the star of the song. A more underrepresented classic here is "Christmas Memories," a song written for Frank Sinatra in 1975 by Don Costa and Alan and Marilyn Bergman, the latter two of whom also penned the number one hit "You Don't Bring Me Flowers" with Neil Diamond. Though She & Him's version loses the powerful poignancy of an aging Sinatra, they treat the song with care, and Deschanel's sweeter take still longs for celebrations lost to time. It and other lesser-known selections, namely folk singer Vashti Bunyan's "The Coldest Night of the Year," mix in well with more popular tracks like "Happy Holiday," a restrained "Let It Snow!" and a country edition of "Winter Wonderland" with vocals by Deschanel and Jenny Lewis. That's because Ward and Deschanel put their distinctive stamp of vocal-era velveteen and early rock rhythm on the set as a whole. Of note, that includes a rare, rather beautiful rendition of "Mele Kalikimaka." Taken together, Christmas Party is, unsurprisingly, a charmer.

Product Details

Release Date: 10/28/2016
Label: Sony
UPC: 0889853806423
catalogNumber: 538064
Rank: 5458

Album Credits

Performance Credits

She & Him   Primary Artist
Scott McCaughey   Bass,Background Vocals
Abigail Chapin   Background Vocals
Lily Chapin   Background Vocals
Steve Shelley   Drums
Doug Weiselman   Saxophone
Paul Brainard   Pedal Steel Guitar,Trumpet
M. Ward   Organ,Guitar,Piano,Vocals
Adam Selzer   Background Vocals
Darren Hanlon   Background Vocals
Jenny Lewis   Vocals,Background Vocals
Catherine Popper   Bass
Shelley Short   Background Vocals
Zooey Deschanel   Piano,Vocals,Background Vocals,Ukeke
Alia Farah   Background Vocals
James Felice   Accordion
Mark Powers   Drums
Jacob Pechenik   sleigh bells
Elsie Pechenik   Vocals,sleigh bells

Technical Credits

Irving Berlin   Composer
Barry Mann   Composer
Ross Bagdasarian   Composer
Alan Bergman   Composer
Marilyn Bergman   Composer
Felix Bernard   Composer
Dudley Brooks   Composer
Sammy Cahn   Composer
Mariah Carey   Composer
Peter DeRose   Composer
Johnny Marks   Composer
Carl Sigman   Composer
Jule Styne   Composer
Cynthia Weil   Composer
Walter Afanasieff   Composer
Tom Schick   Engineer
Tucker Martine   Engineer
Hal Stanley   Composer
Irving Taylor   Composer
Marvin Brodie   Composer
M. Ward   Producer
Hal Moore   Composer
R. Alex Anderson   Composer
Bill Fredericks   Composer
Richard B. Smith   Composer
Domenick Costa   Composer

Customer Reviews

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Christmas Party 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
18423228 More than 1 year ago
As soon as I saw that She & Him had a second Christmas album out, I immediately ordered my copy! I love it as much as the first holiday album and have had it playing a couple times a day—at least. True to the fantastic group's other work, it has a vintage vibe as well as a modern feel. I love the old-time tunes turned new again for today's generation. California and Hawaii are present on this swinging record. Thanks to the shes and hims behind creating another album joining my favorites of the season. Warms my heart!