When I was little I used to shut myself in our half-bathroom in the evening, adjust my Holly Hobbie nightgown, brush the Dorothy Hamill wedge off of my face (no, children of the 90’s…this is NOT a salad), look in the mirror, then press “record” on my cassette tape recorder. I had a microphone. I was awesome.
I had a particular fondness for singing “Rhinestone Cowboy” and “Evergreen” by Barbra Streisand. Love, soft as an easy chair…
I’m sure that my family was happy when I hit the ripe old age of eight and moved on to Pat Benatar’s “Heartbreaker”, though even as I matured I never lost my love of Roger Miller’s “King of the Road”.
My son has recently discovered that our iPad stores my iTunes. The only time I get to use the iPad is when I go out of town, which is also the only time I get to listen to music without a small person making me pause it over and over while they ask, “Maaaahhm, what can I dooooooo?”
Among my musical offerings, my son found Journey (tips cowgirl hat to The Pioneer Woman), Justin Timberlake, Pearl Jam and the completely inappropriate-lyric-filled songs of the Black Eyed Peas.
Guess which group he liked the best?
It turned out that “Boom Boom Pow” garnered the attention of my nine year old boy much more than any other tune and because there are a couple of choice words in between the booming and the powing, I had to turn where no parent should ever have to turn.
Now, I have heard a lot of painful noises in my life. The sound of crashing metal, the crying of my son during IV placements and the terror-filled screams of my daughter when she witnessed her brother’s fingertip chopped off in a door-slamming accident.
None of those compare to Kidz Bop. Trust me, I know. My daughter has 16 Kidz Bop CD’s.
Long before she was an eye-rolling 12 year old whose favorite words are, “Oh my gosh, Mom!”, she was a sweet, little girl who listened to music that made my ears bleed. Because some songs just aren’t bad enough on their own and need a chorus of children to mutilate them further.
If you’re lucky enough to have never listened to Kidz Bop, just imagine that you’re driving a carload of pre-teens, who have just licked the icing off of 12 cupcakes each and they all start singing. Loudly.
You know how the judges on American Idol always call people “pitchy”? Yeah, that. Times however many Kidz Bop kidz they can fit into a studio at once. Which, I think, then are referred to as a gaggle. A gaggle of kidz. Bopping.
Don’t let my distaste of this music be any indication of its sales ability. Billboard claims that Kidz Bop 18 was the #1 selling kids album of 2010, Kidz Bop 17 was #2 and Kidz Bop 16 was 10th. Clearly, kids really like it. Either that, or they hate their parents.
I can get behind the concept of having a gaggle of boppers singing contemporary music so that young children can understand the lyrics or can hear songs that would, otherwise, be inappropriate. The concept, yes. That I support.
But, in actuality, the only thing that’s good about Kidz Bop music is that it can be listened to with headphones.