Thursday, December 27 2012 23:10

KIDZ BOP 23: For Parents that don't like children or music...

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Updated five years later (2017): I dig Kidz Bop now. Opinions change drastically.

As I tweeted earlier today: Parents - please, do not ever buy your children a KIDZ BOP album. In some States, doing so warrants a visit from DCFS

Sure, the last part was an exaggeration, but I think most will agree that the KIDZ BOP series is pretty bad. In fact, the newly-released KIDZ BOP 23 just might be the finest album available for parents that don't like their children, or music.

Don't buy this album.Released early through Musicspace on December 17 (just in case that whole "Mayan Apocalypse" thing really happened?) and slated for wide release on January 15, 2013, KIDZ BOP 23 continues the long-running tradition of having a group of "Kidz" (tweens) perform terrible covers of recent Top 40 hits, complete with subtle reworkings of lyrics that wouldn't be appropriate for a younger audience - a practice that's been deemed "controversial" at times. In reality, controversy could be avoided by simply calling these albums out for what they are... garbage, but that would be a terrible insult to the Shirley Manson-fronted band of the same name.

From a business perspective, the KIDZ BOP series is a winner - launched in 2001 and spawning roughly FIFTY installments (including Holiday spinoffs, "best of" sets, etc.), I can't fault the folks behind KIDZ BOP, LLC and Razor & Tie for cashing in on the poor taste and stupidity of their audience. It's good business, and they've scored some Platinum and Gold Certifications along the way. In fact, I was still working for the long-gone Sam Goody/Musicland Group back when the first few installments hit stores, and remember clueless parents just eating them up. For KIDZ BOP 23, those wishing to pre-order the album on iTunes can snag the standard edition or an exclusive version with four bonus tracks. Those pre-ordering through Walmart will receive a physical CD with five exclusive bonus tracks. If you absolutely, positively, just have to have this crap... please do click those pre-order links, because I'll be glad to make a few bucks off of your error in judgement.

It's a safe bet that the parties involved in KIDZ BOP are fully aware that they're purveyors of crap, and it's also fairly clear that they don't want to hear it. If you watch that embedded commercial that I posted above on it's YouTube page, you might notice that despite over 66,000 views, they've disabled the comments, and turned off all public statistics. Bottom line? You can't see how many "likes" or "dislikes" the video is getting, nor will you see the likely barrage of negative feedback. 

So what songs are butchered this time? On the standard edition, you'll fnd the following 16 tracks:
1. "Good Time" - Owl City & Carly Rae Jepsen
2. "We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together" - Taylor Swift
3. "As Long As You Love Me" - Justin Bieber featuring Big Sean
4. "Want U Back" - Cher Lloyd
5. "Everybody Talks" - Neon Trees
6. "Let's Go" - Calvin Harris featuring Ne-Yo
7. "Locked Out of Heaven" - Bruno Mars
8. "Wide Awake" - Katy Perry
9. "Live While We're Young" - One Direction
10. "Diamonds" - Rihanna
11. "Too Close" - Alex Clare
12. "Let Me Love You (Until You Learn to Love Yourself)" - Ne-Yo
13. "Some Nights" - fun.
14. "I Cry" - Flo Rida
15. "Home" - Phillip Phillips
16. "Gangnam Style" - PSY

While there's some terrible moments, it's the last track that really gets me. "Gangam Style" should ONLY be performed by Korean pop star PSY, and I'm fairly certain that Park Jae-sang would agree. Every American that I've ever heard make an attempt sounds awkward and ridiculous (not that the song was bursting with seriousness to begin with), and it just shouldn't be done. The change of "Hey sexy lady" to "Hey... Hey Lady" is also laughable.

So here's the deal: If you're comfortable letting your kids listen to the songs that are being covered by KIDZ BOP, just let them listen to the originals. If you're looking for "kid-friendly" or "family-friendly" tunes that have a little something called "integrity," seek out some albums by artists such as The BOOGERS, SECRET AGENT 23 SKIDOO, PLAY DATE, CASPAR BABYPANTS, and MISTA COOKIE JAR, or browse the list of 2012 winners of the FIDS AND KAMILY MUSIC AWARDS (I was a judge this year) at fidsandkamily.com. That's just a starting point. There's a lot of great music for families out there, much of which you'll find highlighted right here on The Rock Father. 

Oddly enough, Carly Rae Jepsen is covered on KIDZ BOP 23 and this February, she'll be performing at the Atlantis Paradise Island Resort where the commercial for the album was filmed. Conspiracy? Probably not.

James Zahn

James Zahn is best-known as The Rock Father™, a media personality, commentator, adventurer and raconteur. He is the Owner, Publisher, and Editor-in-Chief of THE ROCK FATHER™ Magazine. In January, 2019, after nearly a decade of publishing The Rock Father™ Magazine, he joined Adventure Media and Events as Senior Editor of The Toy Book—the leading trade publication for the toy industry since 1984, as well as The Pop Insider — a destination for all things pop culture, and The Toy Insider — the leading consumer guide for toys and games. He is also editor of The Toy Report, a weekly newsletter published by The Toy Book each Thursday. Zahn has over 27 years of experience in the entertainment, retail and publishing industries.

He regularly serves as a Brand Ambassador and spokesperson for several Globally-recognized pop culture and lifestyle brands in addition to consulting for a number of toy manufacturers. 

Creatively, James has directed/edited music videos, lyric videos, and album trailers for bands such as FEAR FACTORY, has appeared as an actor in feature films and commercials, written comic books, and performed in bands. He currently serves as an artist manager and video director for PRODUCT OF HATE, whose debut album was released by Napalm Records in 2016, distributed by ADA/Warner Music in the U.S. with Universal Music handling global. A new album has been completed and is set for release this year.

Zahn and/or his work have been featured in/on CNN, NBC, ABC, WGN, CBS, GCTN, G4, The Chicago Tribune, Forbes, MarketWatch, Reuters, BusinessWire, Fangoria, Starlog and more. He's appeared as a music expert on CNN's AC360 alongside Anderson Cooper, and has been interviewed by Larry King. In the past he served as a writer for the Netflix Stream Team,  Fandango Family and PBS KIDS, penned articles for Sprout and PopSugar, and was a contributor to Chicago Parent.

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