An album unlike anything Marc Broussard has done before, "A Lullaby Collection SOS III" ranks high in the Carencro singer-songwriter’s 10-album discography.
Influenced by classic soul, rhythm-and-blues and swamp pop, Broussard is known for his soulful singing. But "A Lullaby Collection" brings him out of his usual musical persona, casting him in melodic standards with piano and orchestral accompaniment.
Everything on the album — even songs not thought of as lullabies — works as a lullaby. That includes “Danny Boy,” “Moon River,” “Over the Rainbow,” “What A Wonderful World” and James Taylor’s “Sweet Baby James.” The father of four, Broussard presumably has much experience singing his children to sleep. For "A Lullaby Collection," he croons intimately, as if he really is singing at bedtime.
The decision to include orchestration is a good one that works, but the arrangements are quite basic and shallow. Maybe because of budgetary restrictions, the string ensemble features only violins and cellos. Several duet partners also join Broussard, including Christian music star and fellow southwest Louisiana native Lauren Daigle.
Broussard and his expanded music team set the tone with a lovely rendition of Radney Foster’s “Godspeed (Sweet Dreams)." That song, as well as Alice Riley’s “Baby’s Boat” and Broussard’s own “Bedtime,” present the singer as a parent bidding his child loving adieu for the night. But as he sends his child to dreamland, he also longs for their morning reunion.
Despite the many guests and supporting players, Broussard truly stars in this very special project. He’s probably never sung so well on record. Besides faithfully and sensitively performing the beautiful melodies in “Over the Rainbow,” “When You Wish Upon a Star” and more, he adds a subtle R&B vocal twist to those melodies without ever obscuring them.
Surprisingly, the late crooner Andy Williams was a major influence on "A Lullaby Collection's" approach.
“I was never a big Andy Williams fan, but all of a sudden, I found his voice so spectacular,” Broussard said of his unexpected inspiration. “Throughout this record, I wanted to emulate the grace that’s attached to every one of his performances.”
Williams was famous in part for his Christmas recordings and holiday TV shows. Broussard’s "A Lullaby Collection" has that holiday aura, too. Christmas, after all, is most importantly the celebration of Jesus Christ's nativity.