Sweet, sentimental bedtime songs are mellow and dreamy.

What parents need to know

Educational value

Lullaby is an entertaining collection of songs, and it's not intended for learning.

Positive messages

A guiding light is offered in "Heart of Gold:" "You are so brave and bold, as the world gets cold, you just walk a little closer/Knowing that somewhere near there's a moon so clear, it's just waiting to surround you…." Overcoming fear to take those first steps is the topic of "Easier to Do:" "When there's trouble in mind, I'll be there by your side. Go walking out into the blue. Go ahead, take my hand, start over again… There's gotta be a way to work it out, make the whole thing new…."

Positive role models

Many songs portray loving, supportive role models. From "Doing It All For You:" "I'll hang the stars up in the sky, hold you closer when you cry/Cradle you the whole night through, doing it all, doing it all for you..." From title track, "Lullaby:" "As we go drifting into the unknown, love is so deep and so wild/Go on ahead, take those first steps alone, everyone's by your side…."

Violence & scariness
Not applicable
Sexy stuff
Not applicable
Not applicable
Not applicable
Drinking, drugs, & smoking
Not applicable

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that Lullaby is a soothing, sometimes contemplative collection of original kids' songs for the mellower times in life. Lullaby is a departure from Justin Roberts' driving pop/rock style albums. This time his songs are steeped in tenderness and encouragement, with a sprinkle of whimsy, all in a '70s retro singer-songwriter feel. Lots of strings, woodwinds, and some brass join Roberts' acoustic guitar-based band, but not at the expense of getting too groovy. These are uplifting songs about dedication, support, and unwavering love that apply to any time of life, especially childhood. Don't be surprised, though, if these tunes leave you with a tear of joy as you snuggle up with your little one. 

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What's the story?

On LULLABY, Justin Roberts and his band (the Not Ready for Naptime Players) perform with members of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, who add strings, harp, oboe, and English and French horns. Most songs on this 10-track album are in a soft rock, '70s singer-songwriter style. The album's cover art is by children's book illustrator Alison Jay. Lullaby makes Roberts a seven-time winner of both the National Parenting Publications (NAPPA) Gold Award and Parents' Choice Gold Award.

Is it any good?


Don’t be fooled by the title -- Lullaby is a peaceful, contemplative album, not a mindless drone that'll bore you to sleep. While the songs are on the tranquil side (compared to Roberts' other albums), the lyrics are thoughtful and poignant. Musically, Lullaby is lush, with well-arranged orchestrations of violin, cello, harp, oboe, and English and French horns joining Roberts' acoustic guitar and piano. It's hard not to hear James Taylor in Roberts' voice, which is a little distracting, and his music is often compared to Paul McCartney, Van Morrison, and JT himself. Not a bad combination of influences, though, especially for parents who want to enjoy their kids' music. Standout tracks include "Count Them as They Go," "Nothing On You," "Heart of Gold," "Doing It All for You," "Polar Bear," "Easier to Do," and "A Wild One." 

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about favorite nighttime rituals such as bath time, reading books, listening to music, and cuddling in bed. What things help you settle down and feel mellow?

  • What is your favorite lullaby? Ask other family members to share theirs with you.

  • How does this album compare to other Justin Roberts' albums? Do you like certain songs or song styles in particular?

Music details

Artist:Justin Roberts
Release date:November 19, 2012
Label:Carpet Square Records
Genre:Children's Music
Parental advisory:No
Edited version available:No

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Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging; great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging; good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging; good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging; OK learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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