CD Review: Justin Roberts – Lullaby

Justin Roberts LullabyAnd The Song Goes:
don’t you worry I’m following right behind
‘cause if you’re caught in who knows where
then I’ll be your polar bear

CD: Lullaby
Artist: Justin Roberts
Audience: Humans
Sounds Like: Justin Roberts channeling James Taylor and Van Morrison.
Random Thought: If Coca-Cola doesn’t offer Roberts a boatload of cash to use “Polar Bear” in their  Super Bowl polar bear commercials, they’re fools.
Tweet Sized Review: Justin Roberts makes a bad ass 70’s soft-rock Lullaby record.

I doubted Justin Roberts. A lullaby record from the guy who rocks out like no other from the family music set? I second guessed it and should have known better. The Dan Wilson of the family music scene can simply do no wrong. Lullaby is his ode to 70’s soft rock giants James Taylor, Van Morrison and others. Forget those annoying Rockabye Baby CDs, this is how a lullaby record should sound. This is how a lullaby record needs to sound.

Justin Roberts was the first ever Kindie artist I heard. Back in 2009 I was sitting with my two week old daughter listening to Music Choice on my TV and I was 30 seconds away from turning the kids channel off because they were playing something awful. But I decided to wait for the next song. “Song for You” by Justin Roberts was the next song. I downloaded the track about 2 minutes later.  The song and moment has stuck with me ever since. Had I been less patient, I may have never found the kindie music world.  I love kindie music because it helps create moments for our family that I’ll always remember. Whether I’m in the car with my daughter dancing in our seats to Lucky Diaz or The Pop Ups, its all about creating those special moments.

The morning my second daughter was born in October of this year, I had an email with a link to listen to Lullaby. We, as in my wife  & daughters, sat around my iphone and listened to a stream of the record from start to finish. It was one of those moments that will stick with me forever.

Mr. Roberts doesn’t take the easy route. Many albums are produced and recorded at a pretty bare bones/rapid pace by  artists today. Voice, guitar, hit ‘record’ and be done. The days of “Big Budget” records are gone. Except in Justin’s world. And we as listeners get to reap the rewards. The sound on this record is impeccable. Roberts and producer Liam Davis have created a ridiculously lush sound for this album. Horns, harps, plus strings from the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, they pay attention to all the little details that take an album from being good to being great. Lullaby has no business being so damn compelling. Frankly, it’s the one and only time I’ll ever call a lullaby record, bad ass. But it’d be a shame to call it anything else.

So Justin Roberts, I’m sorry for doubting you. I won’t let it happen again.

If you don’t have this record set for your child’s stocking, do it right now there is still time. It’s practically a gift for yourself.

BONUS – Audio geeks! The album is being released on 180 gram vinyl early in 2013!