Album: She & Him, Volume One (Double Six)

After Minnie Driver and Scarlett Johansson, Zooey Deschanel is the latest actress to release an album.

And in softly-spoken guitarist and antique music fan M.Ward, she’s found a producer/partner who can bring the best out of her gentle, ingenuous songs – devising a Sixties girl-group pastiche for “I Was Made For You” and using subtle touches of pedal steel and slide guitars for the country lament “Change Is Hard”.

Deschanel’s surprisingly deft touch as lyricist and vocalist brings a buoyant bonhomie to tracks such as “This Is Not A Test” and “I Thought I SawYour Face Today”, while Ward brings his own husky croon to bear on a couple of cover duets, transforming “You Really GotAHold On Me” into poignant, aching blues-pop, and “I Should Have Known Better” into an extraordinary lounge country cha-cha.