In an age where sleep-related problems are at an almost epidemic level, it is safe to assume that we all need a lullaby from time to time. In our culture though, lullabies are almost exclusively for babies and small children. Here Camille Nelson comes to our rescue. “Sacred Lullabies” is a collection of original songs and hymns, including both instrumental and vocal arrangements, inspired by lullabies Nelson heard as a child. It is impossible not to be moved by the album’s heartwarming and loving atmosphere. It makes you feel safe. When you think of it, that’s a rare quality in music. Highly recommended!
Born and raised in Salt Lake City, Camille Nelson is the youngest of six talented and musically inclined siblings. Her father was a violist, and her mother was an opera singer – both heavily influencing Camille’s pursuit and interest in music and performance. She’s visited more than 70 countries and has lived in South Africa, Germany, Switzerland and Italy prior to and while pursuing her Master’s degrees at the University of Utah and Utah State University and later her Ph.D. at Gonzaga University in Spokane, Washington. “Sacred Lullabies” is released on Heartdance Records.
This episode of Dream Mixtape on Mixcloud is dedicated to “Sacred Lullabies”:
I Am a Child of God
The album opener is called “I Am a Child of God.” The guitar and violin greet the listener as an old friend. Its feel-good atmosphere is both relaxing and comforting. Next out is “Abide with Me”, also known as “Eventide” by William Henry Monk. It is breathtakingly beautiful, and the light vocalization and violin take it to divine heights.
Talking about divine; “I’m Trying to Be Like Jesus”, featuring Kimberly Knighton and Britney Holman, is one of the finest pieces on the album. The vocals are superb, perfect even, with a nice hint of Folk and pop. The vocal recording is also spotless, warm and dynamical. With talents like this singing a lullaby, you’ll likely not fall asleep. But rest assured, more soothing songs are to be found later on the album!
Redeemer of Israel
“Redeemer of Israel” is a nice and joyous song, showing Camille’s impressive skills as a guitarist. “Our Lullaby,” featuring Madilyn Paige, is a tribute to lullabies and the love they represent. It is an unselfish love that can endure anything, illuminating even the darkest moment. It is beautiful beyond words.
At this stage on the album, we are rewarded with an instrumental song called “A Child’s Prayer.” As implied by the title, it is straightforward and optimistic, short yet complete in every way. The sacral atmosphere continues on “Not For a Moment,” featuring Stephanie Madsen. Simply by listening, we feel blessed. It is a brilliant song!
The mix of vocal and instrumental pieces is very well-balanced. This, and the fact that there are plenty of songs to choose from – 16 in all – gives the album high replay value. “Paris Lullaby” is an inspired song with a thoughtful edge. “Into the West,” featuring Alex Sharpe, take this feeling one step further. Going on a long voyage suddenly seems less scary. The flute sounds amazing.
The last part of the album consists of five instrumental songs and two songs with vocals. Camille’s version of “We Bring the World His Truth,” featuring Kimberly Knighton and Britney Holman, sounds lovely and inspired – and “Pie Jesu,” featuring Catherine Bohman, contains a stunning vocal performance of the classical Latin hymn. If this is not world-class singing, I don’t know what is. Another winner near the end is the instrumental “Dreaming”, where we get to appreciate Nelson’s playing. And it doesn’t end there; One of the most beautiful songs is saved for last: “Where Can I Turn for Peace?” The heartfelt guitar, piano and violin melody is a worthy conclusion of the album.
In conclusion: “Sacred Lullabies” by Camille Nelson is a welcome reminder of what a lullaby is. We tend to think that it is about getting someone – usually a child – to sleep. But that is only a result of the lullaby, something that comes after. Just as important is the feeling of love, comfort, and peace that a lullaby communicates. Each of the 16 songs on “Sacred Lullabies” have this rare quality in abundance. Artistically speaking, the album is close to perfect. Nelson’s love for these songs shines through, from beginning to end. I’m tempted to plead like a child in bed: “Please, please – can you sing just one more song?” To me, that’s the highest praise of all.
Score: 95/100 – See our scoring policy
Visit heartdancerecords.com/camillenelson for more information and music samples.