RJD2 is known for his grooving, usually wordless musical explorations; Aaron Livingston is known for his work with Philly-based band The Mean. When you put them together, you get some fairly standard remix material. The Abandoned Lullaby mashes up electronic and crunk with some interesting results, but while the pairing is initially fresh, after a while the music begins to sound like what plenty of other DJs do live.
To be fair, the collaboration is certainly interesting, and fans of the Means country-flavored rock will appreciate this disc, which features Livingstons vocals heavily and gives them a cleaner showcase than the Means crunchy guitars. But RJD2 fans will gradually begin to miss the mixsters floaty, unencumbered electro-jams. Icebird feels like more of an experimental phase than a new long-term pairing, but there are still moments to love.
The duo comes together best on Going And Going. And Going, where Livingston takes his rhythmic cues from RJs typical style for a smooth club feel. Opener Charmed Life sounds more like regular RJD2, as if hes perhaps remixing the Mean rather than working with Livingston directly. Meanwhile, Livingstons deep, funky voice comes through best on sassy King Tut and Please, Dont, the latter framed by the playful, slightly ominous exhortation, Please dont feed the animals.
Overall, The Abandoned Lullaby is a texturally interesting marriage of genres, but hardly a unique one. As solid as the music sounds, its just not special enough to crave, making this collaboration rather forgettable.
Essential Tracks: Going And Going. And Going, Please, Dont