Thursday, February 09 2012 12:24

Review: ROCKABYE BABY! Lullaby Renditions of DEPECHE MODE

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When I became a new parent for the first time 2 ½ years ago this week, one thing lacking for our newborn daughter was a proper collection of lullaby albums. Despite being immersed in music on a daily basis as a part of my job, the big business of infant rock just wasn't on my radar yet. With our next ''new release'' (another daughter, according to the ultrasound) due this June, we'll be better prepared for a rockin' nursery, and among the labels providing the soundtrack is Rockabye Baby!, the arm of the CMH Label Group that specializes in ''transforming timeless rock songs into beautiful instrumental lullabies.'' Their latest offering - LULLABY RENDITIONS OF DEPECHE MODE.

Released this week on CD and Digital Download, this isn't the first time that the UK-based synth poppers have gotten the lullaby treatment, but it is the first collection that I've heard - and it's a lot of fun.

Performed and produced by Nashville-based musical multi-hyphenate Steven Charles Boone (a father of a toddler himself), the DEPECHE MODE set captures the iconic melodies made famous by David Gahan, Martin Gore, Andy Fletcher, and friends, making them soothing for the new rockers, yet avoiding the cheese factor. Those who opt for the physical copy on CD will be treated to some clever artwork that pays homage to the band and their imagery over the years, with additional kid-friendly elements like a maze and some finger puppets (should you allow the mutilation of the booklet). Food Crew Chef Jeff Parker even includes a special recipe for Personal Pea-sus - a 16-tablespoon batch of DEPECHE MODE-inspired food for babies 6 Months & Up. Get the hardcore fans started early.

Watch & Listen: "Personal Jesus"

The above-streaming "Personal Jesus" opens the record, and starts what is essentially a 44-minute wind-down. You've got the chimes and bells that you'd expect in the lullaby world, but with subtle percussive elements dropped in with some vibraphone. The one thing I could do without is the occasional bike horn. The hits are all immediately recognizable - "Just Can't Get Enough," "Policy of Truth," "Strangelove," "World in My Eyes" - they're all here.

By the time "It's No Good" began with it's additional accompaniment of chirping birds and woodland ambience, I really wished it was summer and that I could kick back for a nap outside. Two songs later and "Stripped" brought with it chirping crickets and the sound of a wise owl, a vibe that carried into a whimsical version of "People are People" and onto the appropriate album closer, "Enjoy the Silence."

Preview: "Enjoy the Silence"

As they say, "Words are very unnecessary," and when it comes to a lullaby, nothing could be more true.

Rating: 4/5 Stars 

Available now on iTunes or direct from the Rockabye Baby! Store

FTC Disclosure: A CD copy of this album was provided to The Rock Father™ for review by the CMH Label Group. The opinion presented is my own - because I'm not for sale.

James Zahn

James Zahn is best-known as The Rock Father™, a media personality, commentator, adventurer and raconteur. He is the Owner, Publisher, and Editor-in-Chief of THE ROCK FATHER™ Magazine. In January, 2019, after nearly a decade of publishing The Rock Father™ Magazine, he joined Adventure Media and Events as Senior Editor of The Toy Book—the leading trade publication for the toy industry since 1984, as well as The Pop Insider — a destination for all things pop culture, and The Toy Insider — the leading consumer guide for toys and games. He is also editor of The Toy Report, a weekly newsletter published by The Toy Book each Thursday. Zahn has over 27 years of experience in the entertainment, retail and publishing industries.

He regularly serves as a Brand Ambassador and spokesperson for several Globally-recognized pop culture and lifestyle brands in addition to consulting for a number of toy manufacturers. 

Creatively, James has directed/edited music videos, lyric videos, and album trailers for bands such as FEAR FACTORY, has appeared as an actor in feature films and commercials, written comic books, and performed in bands. He currently serves as an artist manager and video director for PRODUCT OF HATE, whose debut album was released by Napalm Records in 2016, distributed by ADA/Warner Music in the U.S. with Universal Music handling global. A new album has been completed and is set for release this year.

Zahn and/or his work have been featured in/on CNN, NBC, ABC, WGN, CBS, GCTN, G4, The Chicago Tribune, Forbes, MarketWatch, Reuters, BusinessWire, Fangoria, Starlog and more. He's appeared as a music expert on CNN's AC360 alongside Anderson Cooper, and has been interviewed by Larry King. In the past he served as a writer for the Netflix Stream Team,  Fandango Family and PBS KIDS, penned articles for Sprout and PopSugar, and was a contributor to Chicago Parent.

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