Itty-Bitty Review: Acoustic Dreamland (Putumayo) - Various Artists

AcousticDreamland.jpgThe sight of Nicola Heindl's illustration immediately brands it as a Putumayo disk. But take off the animated cover of Acoustic Dreamland, the latest collection from Putumayo Kids, replace it with some tastefully sepia-tinged photograph of, I don't know, a moon rising over a barn, and you could totally sell this collection at Pottery Barn, perhaps.

Which is to say that this isn't so much a kids music album as it is just a kid-friendly album. But oh what a nicely curated album it is. I never would have pegged Wilco as a source for lullabies, but Mark Erelli's version of "My Darling" outshines the original, methinks. Ditto for Elizabeth Mitchell's cover of the Allman Brothers' "Blue Sky." Kids musicians aren't totally shut out here -- Frances England records a new song, "Here With Me," for the collection, and Kesang Marstrand lends a song from her excellent lullaby collection as well. As with many Putumayo disks, however, the value in the collection isn't so much the individual songs as much as it is the fact that someone has spent the time finding the tracks and saving the listener the effort.

The album is appropriate for all ages, though the lullaby nature of means that you're more likely to spin it with kids ages 5 and less. You can sample some of the tracks here. I can totally see Acoustic Dreamland being used at nap time or quiet time or during a nighttime feeding. And, buried on a hard drive and stripped of its album art, long past your kids nap, eat at night, or are ever quiet, listened by you and you alone. Recommended.