Boomkat Product Review:
Prior to this album's release the only vocal performance the general public are likely to have heard from Zooey Deschanel would be her rendition of 'Santa Claus Is Coming To Town' at the end of the Will Ferrell Christmas movie, Elf. This collaborative album with producer M. Ward comes at a time when her fellow Hollywood starlet Scarlett Johannson is racking up mixed reviews for her LP of Tom Waits covers, but unlike Scarlett's record, this album is all but entirely penned by Zooey herself, with just two covers included: Smokey Robinson's 'You Really Got A Hold On Me' and The Beatles' 'I Should Have Known Better', with an extra slice of Hollywood cropping up on the Jason Schwartzmann co-written 'Sweet Darlin', which turns out to be something of a highlight, featuring a Pet Sounds-styled verse part, and some great vocal multitracking. Deschanel's songwriting comes as quite a revelation: from the widescreen, Carpenters-esque opener 'Sentimental Heart' to the Ronettes-like girl group rock & roll of 'I Was Made For You' the album comes across as startlingly authentic (for which M. Ward should be given a good deal of credit), and should be considered as the introduction of a rare crossover talent; normally these actress-turned-popstar affairs don't work out particularly favourably, but the prospect of a Volume Two in the near future is something to relish. Great timing for this release too - hopefully the album will take attention away from the fact she was in The Happening. M. Ward is clearly a better collaborator for her than M. Night.