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A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this music.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that the CDs in this gentle, soothing series have no lyrics. Instead, they feature instrumental versions of songs by popular bands -- from Led Zeppelin to The Cure -- arranged for maximum snooze-ability. (Note: Even though our ratings system recommends media titles for kids older than 2 years old, this series is best for little ones under 2.)
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What's the story?
The ROCKABYE BABY! series features more than a dozen lullaby CDs, with others constantly on the way. The concept is simple: Songs by such groups as Nirvana, Tool, Pink Floyd, Led Zeppelin, and the Beach Boys are given new-agey, instrumental arrangements featuring the interplay of the glockenspiel, vibraphone, and mellotron -- instruments not immediately associated with rock. The concept, of course, is more for the benefit of rocker parents than their sleepy kids, as the songs end up sounding more alike than you'd think without their familiar screeching guitar solos, lyrical hooks, or vocal harmonies.
Is it any good?
The good thing is that the result -- probably due to the unusual choice of instruments -- produces sounds that bump the songs many notches above traditional monotone elevator music. Arrangements are warm and spacious, and live up to their lullaby billing with remarkable musical consistency. Performer/arranger Michael Armstrong, though not the most imaginative producer, has his finger firmly on the pulse of what puts people to sleep. For similar ambiance with a little more musical oomph, you might want to try some "adult" new age musical greats; George Winston comes to mind.