Review in Brief: Now The Day Is Over - The Innocence Mission

Take away the cover art of a child sleeping next to their stuffed animal, and there's nothing about The Innocence Mission's 2004 album Now The Day Is Over that would compel its placement in a kids' music section. Having said that, the collection of standards and other songs done in lullaby style was performed with kids in mind. The cover art fits.

In a low-key jazz-influenced style, sparsely arranged and usually just with little more than guitar and bass to accompany her, singer-songwriter Karen Peris gives a hushed interpretation to the songs, lending to the dream-like quality of the recording. This semi-conscious quality is a good fit for many of the songs, such as "Stay Awake" or Henry Mancini's classic "Moon River" and extends to Don Peris' instrumental guitar work on Chopin's "Prelude in A" and Beethoven's "Sonata No. 8." The one original, Karen Peris' "My Love Goes With You," is a sweet lullaby, much closer to traditional lullabies than most of the songs on the 30-minute disk. One word of warning, though -- Peris' voice, though beautiful, has a distinct and somewhat nasal quality to it. I think most people will warm to it, but some might not. (Indeed, the songs I enjoyed less were the ones I'd heard hundreds of times before -- "Over the Rainbow" and "What A Wonderful World" -- and didn't think the Peris' distinct voice and rendition improved upon the original. The kids around you, of course, with no such baggage, won't care.)

As a lullaby album, it's targeted for kids ages 0 through 5, though there's no reason why you won't put it on yourself when the kids are nowhere around and you need some peaceful music. You can clips at the album's CDBaby page. Now The Day Is Over is filled with a sense of goodness that families can find respite in in the course of -- or at the end of -- a busy day. Recommended.