Lullaby albums aren't a dime a dozen, but hear enough of them, and their value does diminish rapidly.
And I've heard enough of them.
So I'm willing to admit that the novelty (meaning new-ness, not jokey) of Songs for Little Bean, the first kids album from Canadian artist Kori Pop, is part of the reason for its appeal.
But get past the sounds of Pop's ethereal voice multi-tracked and used as much as instruments and percussion, and the album still stands as a gentle mix of classic kids' songs, originals, and well-chosen covers. Originally recorded as a gift for Pop's newborn godchild, it starts out with "Chim Chim Cheree" from Mary Poppins, a version which is even more wistful than the original. "Twinkle Little Star" extends that small classic into a two-minute version into a Andrews-Sisters-meets-naptime gem. It's not entirely a lullaby album -- the final two songs, "Itsy Bitsy Spider" and the original "A is for Alphabet" could easily be on a non-lullaby album, but throughout the 25-minute run-time of the disk there's a feeling of calm. You can stream samples and a few whole songs using the widget below; the only comparable album I can think of is the Innocence Mission's classic lullaby album Now the Day Is Over.
As with any (good) lullaby album, the primary age range of 0 through 4 years for Songs for Little Bean implies that adults won't enjoy it at all, which definitely isn't the case. Kids could easily get used to falling to sleep it and parents will appreciate the times they get to rock or nurse their kids to this. Hoping that Kori Pop is asked to be a godparent again in hopes that she records another album as a gift is wrong, I realize that. But it would be nice to hear a sequel to this. Definitely recommended.