infant sleeper

Dedicated to the One I Love (Elektra)
Linda Ronstadt

By Allen Howie

Lots of baby boomers' favorite artists are having babies of their own these days, which produces in said artists an apparently irresistible urge to record a children's album. The results are usually too nonsensical for adult fans and not enough fun to engage kids.

Singer Linda Ronstadt takes a crack at the lullaby market with Dedicated to the One I Love.The approach she employs is to take well-known pop songs and set them in hushed, music-box arrangements. The problem -- for adult listeners anyway -- is that all those whispery vocals and tinkly arrangements rob these well-known tunes of their individuality and render them all with a numbing sameness.

Give Ronstadt points, though, for canny song selection. Numbers like "Be My Baby," "In My Room" and the title track seem perfectly suited to this kind of collection. And the truth is, while you may not enjoy the record much, it does seem to soothe newborn nerves, as road-tested on our own recent arrival. And as any new mom or dad will tell you, anything that puts a little one to sleep gets the parental seal of approval.

No review would be complete without at least a passing reference to the weirdest cut on the record, a cover of Queen's "We Will Rock You." Imagine a lullaby treatment of Brian May's neo-fascist anthem. Now imagine what it might take to pull it off. Fortunately, it clocks in at only ninety seconds.

All that aside, Dedicated to the One I Loveis that rare children's album that never loses sight of its audience. It will never replace Prisoner in Disguise,Ronstadt's finest record, but it may buy you a few hours of rest when you really need it. And that, my friends, is a bargain.