Editor’s note: In this recurring column, music writer Chris Duncan suggests two albums to listen to this week. Have a suggestion? Send a tweet to @chr_dunc, and your pick might appear in next week’s article.
Assorted Albums - Rockabye Baby!
Rockabye Baby! is a group of albums targeted toward the younger crowd. No, it’s not the latest pop hit, and no, it’s not Kidz Bop — these records are made for infants.
In 2006, CMH Records decided to take on an odd project by producing lullaby versions of famous artists. Their first album Rockabye Baby! Lullaby Renditions of Coldplay saw success among parents, leading CMH Records to expand to other genres.
Now, the project's discography includes renditions of classic artists such as Led Zeppelin, The Beatles and Queen, but also includes more modern artists, such as Nirvana, Bob Marley, Kanye West, Madonna and Radiohead. Hearing these hits from a whole new perspective is both refreshing and entertaining. It works great as study music and it's easy to get lost in each song while listening.
Songs to listen to: "Bohemian Rhapsody" (originally by Queen), "Fell in Love with a Girl" (originally by The White Stripes), "Over the Hills and Far Away" (originally by Led Zeppelin)
Les Miserables: In Concert at the Royal Albert Hall - Les Miserables 10th Anniversary Concert Cast
There have been dozens of famous renditions of Les Miserables since the musical version debuted in 1980, but the 10th anniversary concert performance stands above the rest with its impressive cast and awe-inspiring performances.
The cast of the musical, refereed to by many as "The Dream Cast," featured Colm Wilkinson as Jean Valjean. Wilkinson also starred in the original West End and Broadway productions. Philip Quast was cast as Inspector Javert after producers witnessed his powerful performance in his hometown of Australia. Their vocal performance is seen as the model for every Les Mis production since.
The score on this album is a more modernized version than the original musical’s. Since the vocalists didn't have to worry about acting on this concert version, their performances were their only priority, resulting in a powerful album.
Songs to listen to: "Valjean's Soliloquy," "Stars," "Empty Chairs at Empty Tables"