A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this music.
What 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.
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."
Talk to your kids 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?
For kids who love music for little ones
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