The popular alt-lullaby series out-hips itself with this inappropriately dour Christmas release.
With music-box variations on Radiohead, Nirvana, and more, The Rockabye Baby! series is the lullaby music choice for 120 Minutes-generation people who are now having babies. But in keeping things hip, this Christmas offering shoots itself in the foot with a lump of coal. Who could forget "classics" like Sufjan Stevens' "Hey Guys! It's Christmas Time" or The Waitresses' "Christmas Wrapping"? No, most of these 13 songs are not classics at all, but rather holiday obscurities only lifetime fan-club members are familiar with. The only true evergreens here are Lennon's "Happy X-Mas" and Band Aid's "Do They Know It's Christmas?". Like everything, they're rendered with delicate, twinkling arrangements. Smashing Pumpkins' "Christmastime" is among a few songs wistful enough to withstand the treatment. But while Bjork's and the Cure's whimsical, melancholy moods are natural fits for Rockabye Baby!, Lullaby Renditions of Christmas Rock Classics is unnecessarily dour, like a wet blanket draped over Santa's cookies and milk.