Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Arriving on CD, November 19th -- Justin Roberts' Lullaby (Review)

Available November 19th
"GRAMMY Nominee Justin Roberts releases his first collection of original nighttime songs for families on November 19th. Lullaby is for those wee small hours just before bedtime. These 10 new songs present an unusual mix of genres, including elegant moments of chamber music, snatches of ‘70s soft rock, and sleepy bossa nova and R&B grooves. The entrancing cover art of  Lullaby was created by acclaimed illustrator Alison Jay (Welcome to the Zoo, ABC, Picture This).
In a departure from his usual power-pop, upbeat style, the artist who’s been called “the Paul McCartney of children’s music” (USA Today) and “a natural poet” (New York Times) has created a host of songs with dreamy, atmospheric lyrics and instrumentation. Amid the soothing sweetness is a hint of melancholy, very much in the tradition of “Rockabye Baby.”
Justin Roberts composed and arranged all of the songs on Lullaby. Liam Davis, the multi-instrumentalist member of Roberts’ Not Ready for Naptime Players, produced and performed on the recording, which also features several members of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra playing strings, harp, English horn, oboe, and French horn.  Additional guest artists are vocalists from the Chicago production of the musical Hairspray, and other members of the Not Ready for Naptime Players.
From the heartbeat-soft harp and keyboard phrasing of “Count Them As They Go,” to the delicate pizzicato strings of “Heart of Gold“ and “Lullaby,” these new songs will help set the tone for the quiet moments of each day. Parental and sibling love shines through in songs like “What the Stork Sent,” “All for You,” “Polar Bear” and “Easier To Do.”  Van Morrison’s influence is strong in “A Wild One,” sung from the perspective of a child who’s about to be tucked in for the night. This song is just one more example of why Entertainment Weekly lauds Roberts as “a master of conjuring up images that resonate with the young ones.”
Justin Roberts is a star of the indie family music scene. This Chicago based artist logs thousands of miles on the road each year while performing hundreds of concerts around North America. With numerous national  awards (including six Parents’ Choice Gold awards), critical recognition from the likes of the New  York Times, People  and Time magazines, plus a devoted fan base, Justin and The Not Ready for Naptime Players dish out intelligent and  whimsically rocking music for kids and their parents. Roberts won a GRAMMY nomination for his 2010 release Jungle Gym, and he’s recently authored a new picture book for children, to be published in 2014. Currently, Justin is writing and recording songs for his next release, Recess, due for release in 2013.
Lullaby will be available from retailers nationally on November 19, 2012 (Carpet Square Records, distributed by MRI/Sony Music, $14.98 SRP)."

Track Listing
  1. "Count Them As They Go"
  2. "What the Stork Sent"
  3. "Nothing On You"
  4. "Heart of Gold"
  5. "Doing It All for You"
  6. "Polar Bear"
  7. "No Matter How Far"
  8. "Easier To Do'
  9. "A Wild One"
  10. "Lullaby"

Justin Roberts
and the Not Ready For Naptime Players
Selected Family Concerts

November 17 ~ Magnificent Mile Lights Festival, Chicago
November 18 ~ Smithwick Theater, Foothill College, Los Altos, CA
December 15 ~ Adrienne Arsht Center, Miami
December 31 ~ Legoland New Year's Eve
February 23 ~ Symphony Space, NYC
Get updates and ticket links at Justin Roberts' TOUR page.


My Thoughts:

I received a copy of this CD to review last week, and can't tell you how many times we have listened to it at bedtime.  Arabella is back to teething, so I am finding that I have to rock her back to sleep, or play soothing music to help her calm down and relax right before bedtime. I had tried a few of my older lullaby CDs, but nothing seemed to work.  That was until I played Justin Roberts' upcoming release, lullaby, available on Nov. 19th.  

This was the first time I listened to music by Justin Roberts, and I was amazed at his music sounds just like that of James Taylor, one of my mom's favorite artists.  I grew up listening to his music, so was pleased when I began playing the tracks on this upcoming release, and began reminiscing about my childhood and musical influences.  This is one lullaby album I will enjoy listening to with the girls.  And, while it will help lull then to sleep, it will act as a great stress reliever after those busy and hectic days with the kids.

I love how each of the songs tells a story, especially that of "A Wild One" and "Heart of Gold."  My oldest daughter is a fan of "Count Them as They Go," while Arabella always falls asleep to "Lullaby." :-)  If you are looking for a lullaby CD that actually works, and it great for both parents and children to enjoy listening to together, then why not pick up a copy of "lullaby" by Justin Roberts, when it releases on November 19th?  And, make sure you let me know what you think of it, and what your family's favorite song is.

Disclosure: I was sent a copy of this CD from the vendor in order to write up an honest review.  The views above are mine and mine alone. 

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