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Charlie Hope - World of Dreams: Soothing Songs and Lullabies

Hope Creates a World of Dreams

About.com Rating 5 Star Rating

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lullabies for babies

Charlie Hope - World of Dreams

Courtesy Little Maple Leaf Productions
Parents on the lookout for that perfect sleepytime CD should take notice of Charlie Hope’s World of Dreams: Soothing Songs and Lullabies. This is one album that really lives up to its name, so much so that I’ve included it on my list of Best New Lullabies for Babies. Warm production, comforting vocals, and shimmery, flowing instrumentation make World of Dreams a great addition to anyone’s collection of naptime and relaxation music.

The Artist

Charlie Hope grew up in Toronto and Boston singing with her sister and in school choirs. As she grew she discovered the joys of writing music as well, and it became a powerful outlet for her to express her feelings. Charlie believes that music should empower not only the creator, but also the listener. Her fresh approach to children's music stems from the many years she has spent with children, from receiving her degree in Art Therapy with Children to the preschools and private homes she has become an integral part of as a trusted caregiver. From all her experiences Charlie believes that music is vital to a child's overall well-being.

On her debut album, I'm Me!, she created music that is relevant to children's lives; reflecting and respecting their experiences. Elements in the album include a positive take on naptime, learning about the joys of having a new child in the family and discovering the limitless possibilities we all have inside of us. I'm Me!, released in 2009, was followed by the lullaby album World of Dreams: Soothing Songs and Lullabies the same year, and by Songs, Stories, and Friends: Lets Go Play! in 2011. Charlie Hope’s music for children and their families is melodic, interactive and sing-able. Whether you're a parent or a child, you'll find an opportunity to stomp your feet, become a train or roar like a lion.

The Music of 'World of Dreams'

The songs on World of Dreams present the points of view of both the sleepy baby and the adoring parent. “My Balloon,” “Dreamland,” “My Teddy Bear and Me,” “Rain Song” (not the Led Zeppelin tune), “Up in a Tree,” “Sun and Moon,” “Thank You” (again, not the Led Zeppelin song), and “If I Lie Here” detail the imaginative inner dialogue a young child might have in moments of reflection during rest time. “Little One,” “Loved,” and “Best Part” describe a parent’s boundless adoration of their child as both settle down for a nap.

World of Dreams starts off with “My Balloon,” the most beautiful ode to balloons since The Postcards’ performance of “Balloons” on the kids’ show Yo Gabba Gabba! “My Balloon” is a great barometer of the vibe of World of Dreams, as the tune sounds like The Sundays’ Harriet Wheeler backed by America with George Harrison joining in on slide guitar. The brief “Little One” showcases Hope’s talent for harmony, while the three/four time “Loved” shines and glides, the guitar work and chord changes sounding like nothing less than a tune The Smiths might have included on Louder than Bombs or Hatful of Hollow.

More Music from 'World of Dreams'

The tender “Dreamland,” “Best Part,” “Thank You,” and “My Teddy Bear and Me” all feature some nice guitar picking, while the rhythm-less “Rain Song” uses the onomatopoeic sounds of dripping rain to describe the joy derived from a rainy day. “Up in a Tree” boasts the same shimmery quality you would hear on Cocteau TwinsHeaven or Las Vegas, and the wordless verses of “Sun and Moon” make that song seem like the most lullaby-like tune on the CD. To close out World of Dreams, the simple lyrics of the epic, hypnotizing “If I Lie Here” (over 5 minutes long) describe a young child’s self-soothing inner dialogue as he or she attempts to fall asleep.

The Verdict

World of Dreams has to attribute some of its sonic success to the great music production by Michael Langford, who also contributed his skills on guitar, bass, assorted keyboards, and drums and percussion. Shimmery guitars, atmospheric arrangements, and warm recording techniques give World of Dreams a very intimate but accomplished feel. Emma Jeffery’s playful artwork perfectly complements the music inside World of Dreams, wistfully decorating the album cover and the lyric booklet. Charlie Hope’s World of Dreams: Soothing Songs and Lullabies is a wonderful sleepytime CD, and rightly deserves its place on our list of Best New Lullabies for Babies.

Released September 29, 2009; Little Maple Leaf Productions

Track Listing

  1. "My Balloon"
  2. "Little One"
  3. "Loved"
  4. "Dreamland"
  5. "Best Part"
  6. "My Teddy Bear and Me"
  7. "Rain Song"
  8. "Up in a Tree"
  9. "Sun and Moon'
  10. "Thank You"
  11. "If I Lie Here"
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