It’s hard for me not to be just a little bit silly when reviewing Lullaby Renditions of DAVE MATTHEWS BAND, the latest offering from the Rockabye Baby! collection of nursery-ready pop and rock tunes. I actually find Dave and his band of musical merry-men to be tolerable and quite good musically, yet I’ve never been a fan. Not once have I ever thought to myself, ‘‘Yep, I need to go put on some Dave Matthews Band right now!” Never happened. Never will. My wife, on the other hand – big, big fan. That means I get to take shots at the DMB for my own amusement from time to time.
Musician Andrew Bissell handles both performance and production duties for the DAVE MATTHEWS set, and like the Lullaby Renditions of DEPECHE MODE set I reviewed last month (from Steven Charles Boone), the mellowed-down versions presented here are accented with outdoors ambiance and occasional items of sonic whimsy. While this works most of the time, that bicycle horn really needs to go. It sticks out like a sore thumb, though thankfully it only pops up once in awhile, as if one of the “Honkers” from SESAME STREET peeked out from behind a tree to play a cruel trick on the sleeping babies.
Even for a non-DMB loyalist like myself, the songs included on the 12-track collection are familiar. Don’t Drink the Water stands out as a favorite, while So Much to Say, The Space Between, and of course, Crash Into Me were quick favorites for my pregnant better half.
My 2½-year-old daughter has become accustomed to the lullaby genre of late, and upon hearing this CD for the first time, she immediately stated ”To help babies sleeping!” before curling up on the floor for a moment. While she didn’t have an assortment of pop lullabies during her infancy, her baby sister (due this June) will have quite an assortment (for Mommy and Daddy) to choose from.
As with previous Rockabye Baby! releases, the attention to detail in the physical packaging (should you choose the non-iTunes route) is a fun treat for the hardcore fan of the DAVE MATTHEWS BAND. Using the label’s “teddy bear” mascot in artwork representing several DMB favorites throughout the booklet, this collection also includes a baby food recipe for “Squash Into Me.” The only thing really missing is a bunch of college kids hanging out smelling like Patchouli.
The Rock Father™ Rating: 4/5 Stars
Available now on iTunes or from Barnes & Noble or the official Rockabye Baby! store.