Friday, October 2, 2009

CD Review: Rockabye Baby

There are two main struggles in my household: mealtime and bedtime. Mealtime, as previously discussed, has been a problem since we introduced solid foods at 6 months old. Bedtime, however, has been an issue from the get-go. You see, Nate had colic for the first 12 weeks of his life and it was nearly impossible to soothe him once the sun went down. We would rock, sway, bounce, turn the lights down low, sing, shush, swaddle...nothing worked. We just had to ride it out until he passed out, which could last until the wee hours of the morning. Needless to say, it was a long first three months. It's been 14 months and he still doesn't sleep through the night consistently. Starbucks baristas have nothing on me. But I digress...

I can't tell you how many lullaby CD's we've invested in or listened to in that time. They aren't unbearable but they aren't exactly something we'd select if it weren't to drown out the unsufferable screaming. They are usually more of a means to an end than entertainment for the hubby and I.

That is, until we welcomed a new addition to our family: Rockabye Baby.
Rockabye Baby! transforms timeless rock songs into beautiful instrumental lullabies. Guitars and drums are traded for soothing mellotrons, vibraphones and bells, and the volume is turned down from an eleven to a two. Rockabye Baby! is the perfect way to share the music you love with the littlest rocker in your life.
The label was born of the need to make children's music cool - not only for babies but for their parents too. The creators turned to their own record collections for inspiration and the rest, as they say, is history. They've reinvented everything from classic rock (Pink Floyd, Led Zeppelin, Rolling Stones) to punk rock (The Cure, The Ramones, The Pixies), alternative rock (Coldplay, Nirvana, Radiohead) to pop rock (No Doubt, U2, The Beatles) and even reggae (Bob Marley) - just to name a few. Currently, there are 27 different artists in the Rockabye Baby nursery, with more due to arrive any minute.

The Rockabye Baby series has won numerous awards including the 2008 NAPPA Award (for the Green Day rendition), 3 iParenting Media awards (for Green Day, Rolling Stones and U2), as well as a 2007 Esky Award (for the Nirvana rendition). Celebrities such as Kate Hudson, Pete Wentz and Nicole Richie - even featured artists like Kirk Hammett of Metallica - are singing their praises.

I was lucky enough to win the Queen rendition from a giveaway. My husband and I are big fans of Queen and we were curious (and perhaps a bit skeptical) to see if these legendary hits could ever possibly be compelling lullabies. (I mean, c'mon, "Fat Bottomed Girls" as kid-friendly?)

Track Listing:

1. Bohemian Rhapsody
2. Another One Bites the Dust
3. Under Pressure
4. We Will Rock You
5. Fat Bottomed Girls
6. Killer Queen
7. We Are the Champions
8. Bicycle Race
9. Crazy Little Thing Called Love
10. You're My Best Friend
11. Somebody to Love
12. Radio Ga Ga

I have to say I was indeed impressed. The first thing I noticed was the packaging. The CD booklet was designed to be both a mobile - if you're the crafty type - and a scrapbook for your little rockstar-in-the-making. This kind of creativity really appealed to me.

So, yeah, it looked pretty but how did it sound? The melodies were distinctly recognizable, even though vocal harmonies and synthesizers were replaced by bells and the ringing notes of a xylophone. After several seconds of listening, the hubby and I could guess which hit song was playing without cheating and looking on the back cover. We found ourselves singing and humming along to the tunes. The album was both engaging and relaxing.

My personal favorite track is "Under Pressure", followed closely by "Bohemian Rhapsody" and "Bicycle Race", the latter of which I was unfamiliar with and after hearing the lullaby version, I had to research and listen to the original. I once caught my husband listening to the CD on his headphones after our son was in bed! That's how enjoyable it truly is to adults and children alike. It's been like the Pringles motto in our house: once we popped this CD in the stereo, we just couldn't stop playing it!

I've been turning it on daily to wind down from playtime to naptime. And I know Nate has enjoyed it just as much as we have. As a matter of fact, after a particularly powerful meltdown this afternoon, he drifted off to dreamland in my arms as we rocked along to "We Are The Champions". These may be some rockin' tunes but there is no sweeter sound than that of silence.

Bottom line: I would highly recommend checking out the Rockabye Baby music collection. There is a rendition to suit just about any taste, from hard rock to soft pop. They'd make the perfect unique baby shower or Christmas gift. For your kids or for yourself. I'm already planning on purchasing the Metallica and Smashing Pumpkins renditions next! Anyone who can turn the likes of Bjork, Tool and AC/DC into a soothing lullaby is a genius in my book.

BUY IT: Rockabye Baby CD's are available on their website and on Amazon (ARV $16.98). Visit their site to hear clips from all of their albums before you buy! Also available is a digital download card gift package, perfect for the mom who can't live without her iPod.

If you're a little bit country instead of a little bit rock 'n roll, be sure to check out their sister site Hushabye Baby for lullaby renditions of your favorite country artists!

*Stay tuned - there could be a giveaway coming your way real soon!

Disclaimer: As I mentioned, I won a copy of this CD in a blog giveaway. I was in no way compensated for this review.


Raegan said...

These cds are the best. My personal favourite is Coldplay. My daughter listens to it every night at bed time.


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