It's hard to review She & Him without noting that Zooey Deschanel is an extremely successful actress, and from the questionable efforts of other actors-turned-singers we're destined to listen with a hint of negativity. History suggests that the end product isn't always good, but Zooey Deschanel might be a better musician than she is an actress.
She & Him have a distinct sweetness about their sound; 1960s, mellow, classy and smooth. It could be passed off as easy listening, but that would be lazy and unfair to the depth of their music. 'Thieves' is no great departure, it's the same sound but it doesn't sound samey and it has its own distinct character.
'Thieves' is the opener from the Volume II album and it shows Deschanel's growing maturity as a musician. Her voice has a welcome uniqueness; it's soft and naïve but effortlessly grows wilful and confident. It fits her music to a tee, and she easily ranks as one of the best female vocalists around.
Deschanel's songwriting is equally strong, lyrically avoiding the soppy nonsense you might expect from her sound. Instead she writes thoughtfully, with an unnervingly positive attitude, "why do you look so sad? It's not all that bad. I'll see you sometime, sometimes lonely isn't sad."
'Thieves' ties together in the finale as Deschanel showcases the depth of her voice with a controlled shrill. It could easily be overbearing and enter dangerous X-Factor ballad territory, but of course she hits it near-perfectly.
It's difficult to dislike Zooey Deschanel and she seems unable to fail. 'Thieves' is no different; it's warm, intelligent and it's brilliant.