As soon as the first notes of track 1 “Don’t Worry, Be Happy” reach your ears, you instantly know you are in for a treat. Zee Avi is a much celebrated Malaysian-American singer/songwriter who previously released albums with Jack Johnson’s Brushfire label—“Nightlight” is her first adventure into family music. How lucky we are.
Reviewing this album reminded me of the first time I heard Norah Jones’ “Come Away with Me”—it was so utterly relaxing, moving and fresh at the same time. In the same way, every song on “Nightlight” could be the smooth and content soundtrack to a perfect day.
The pared down arrangements include ukulele, guitar and light percussion with rich builds of her lovely voice. It would be difficult to pick highlights on this album, but her version of Joni Mitchell’s “The Circle Game” is one of the best I’ve ever heard. Other masterfully interpreted songs include “Dream a Little Dream” and Lou Reed’s “Who Loves the Sun.”
If you have been searching for find family music that somehow magically transcends the gap between big people and little people, look no further. And, don’t let the cover artwork fool you—while the little bee is very sweet, this is no run of the mill children’s album. “Nightlight” will definitely join Django Jones’ “D is for Django” on my personal list of outstanding family music of 2014 .
To hear tracks from “Nightlight” and learn more about Zee Avi, visit her website: www.zeeavi.com/nightlight/
Our tiny disclaimer: Mommy on a Shoestring occasionally receives new family music to review – we are never paid for our time, and all opinions are ours alone. We just love great music and hope to pass along those artists that light up our lives!