A good part of Vered's second album, Hello My Baby (subtitled Songs to Bond You and Your Baby) doesn't sound much different from its predecessor, her debut album Good Morning My Love. The folk-pop songs are very tightly arranged, with Vered's lyrics often requiring her to sing, or almost rap, them quickly (see, for example, "Gotta Go"). And like its predecessor, the subjects and lyrics for most of the songs are designed to, well, bond parent and baby, so the song helps explain the child's perspective to the parent, and/or gently remind the parent the consequences of actions like being on the phone too much ("Phone").
If there's a big change from the first album, it's in the songs that speak much more directly to the parents. "More of a Baby" is a duet with the Okee Dokee Brothers' Justin Lansing that recognizes the value of a baby's attitude toward the world. "Something Other Than a Mom" reflects the voice of a mother trying to take back some of that personal identity she had before becoming a mom. With a cello helping to underscore the frustration and sadness that can be mixed into life as a parent, it's rawness one doesn't hear often in kids music; rawness about parenting just isn't heard much in music, period. And if that track is wistful, the album closer "All I Want" features the year's most memorable kindie chorus, with a handful of kindie musicians (album producer Dean Jones, Joanie Leeds, Rachel Loshak, Jon Samson, and more) singing "All I Want / is to sleep / seven hours straight / all I want / is to sleep." Compared to most of the other tracks, this song is loose, letting all the emotion flow and spill out.
The album is most appropriate, as you might expect, for kids ages 1 through 5 and their new parents, natch. (You can listen to samples of the 43-minute album -- soon -- here.) To the extent that Vered sought to create an emotional dialogue between parents and their infants and toddlers, Hello My Baby succeeds. For those parents, it's definitely recommended.
Note: I received a copy of this album for possible review.