JJHellerIDreamofYouIt’s unfortunate but there are going to be more than a fair share of people who will pass on JJ Heller’s latest outing, I Dream of You, simply because of its billing as a lullaby album. No, it’s not poor marketing because it is, in fact, just that, a twelve-song collection of heartfelt lullabies recorded and mostly penned by the insightful indie artist and her husband. But, deep down, it’s so much more than just a simple grouping of songs designed to lull your little ones to sleep. And that’s a fact that will be missed by those that dismiss these as simply “children’s songs.” For aren’t we all children, in one way or another?

“So many fans have told me they listen to my music when they’re trying to find peace and rest,” the artist shares. “This project was created to not just calm the hearts of children, but the child inside every adult as well.”

Throughout these ten tracks, six new songs, five revisions of pre-existing Heller tracks, and one cover, Heller speaks to the heart of the children in us all, seeking to bring peace and calm to those both young and old. She’s enlisted the talent of some of Nashville’s best to deliver her vision and the proof is in the pudding. We dare you to listen to this and not feel enveloped in a sense of rest and peace, even if but for a brief moment.

The overall sound is, as one might expect, fairly subdued and gentle which, surprisingly enough, is engaging in and of itself. While big and bold music expressions have their place, it seems the quieter moments are often left behind and Heller mines those corners, bringing truth and beauty into subtle and acoustic musical expressions.

But it’s the lyrics that really steal the show here as Heller delivers verse after verse that speaks on multiple levels. Lines like “Wherever you go/I want you to know/When I dream/I dream of you” from the title track or “Sometimes it feels like forever/When it’s dark outside/Baby, the sun will rise/Baby, the sun will rise/However long the night,” from “The Sun Will Rise” will no doubt soothe the hearts and minds of little ones. Yet, there’s a deeper level that resonates through those tracks, Heller’s lyrics speaking to the inner child of God and soothing those fears as well with heartfelt honesty.

It’s that joy, that level of true depth, that colors songs like “Keep You Safe,” Ben Shive’s resonant piano plucking through as Heller delivers a line that speaks of faithfulness, “My love is a light/Driving away/All of your fear/So don’t be afraid/Remember I made/A promise to keep you safe.” Her voice is hauntingly beautiful and elevates the tracks, lending more obvious lullaby tracks “Daydream” and “I Get to Be the One” added emotion. And her delivery of the album’s sole cover, “Take It With Me,” is simply sublime.

JJ Heller’s I Dream of You may not be the album folks will expect but those who wander its way will have found something that speaks deeply to the innermost parts of us all. This is not the noise and bombast of Top 40 radio nor is it designed to be. Rather, these are sincere songs from the heart of a mother and father that speak peace and life into the lives of their children, not unlike what God does into ours. It’s a powerful moment of peace that Heller offers here; I highly suggest you take it.

Download I Dream of You on iTunes here.

This review was first published at Soul-Audio.com.