There is only one way to describe the Kidz Bop series (23 and 24 are reviewed together here for maximum efficiency) and that’s “pointless.” If one were to add another word, “bastarizations (if that’s even a word).” These songs are Pat Boone-ized and even Pat Boone would probably feel bad singing versions this bad (Kidz, wikipedia Pat Boone and follow some YouTube links). What this series offers is a means for someone to sucker parents into buying really shitty versions of popular songs that are toned down for kidz. All the meanwhile the edited versions all reside on iTunes, Amazon or some other far more logical place.
The problem with trying to dumb down pop songs is that they’re all pretty dumbed downed down already. Seriously, almost all of the songs that are “showcased” on this album are pretty clean, decent songs, it’s hard to imagine why someone would want to buy versions that do nothing but slap the original artist in the face. Pop songs by default, at least in the last forty or so years, are sexual in nature, to some degree, and removing that doesn’t quite seem to be the Kidz Bop producers primary focus because tracks like “Suit & Tie” and “Locked Out of Heaven” are on here and preserved almost exactly.
On a track like “Want U Back” originally by Cher Lloyd the line “do you remember all the things that you and I did first” is still intact, which is a fairly sexual line and feels fairly awkward being sung by a bunch of mid-aged teens selling it to a bunch of (pre-)tweens. In some cases where the song is fairly innocent (“We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together” by Taylor Swift) it really becomes painfully obvious that in the end these Kidz Bop versions just don’t need to exist. Throwing it off even more, especially in the case of Ms. Swift’s song, is that each line is sung by a different Kidz Bop singer, alternating between male and female confusing the song. Also painfully obvious on the Swift song is that she has a really generic voice, the Kidz sing the song and in some spots, with the right singer, it’s hard to discern any difference. Taylor Swift’s “22” is covered on Kidz Bop 24, how are 12 year olds supposed to identify with what it means to be 22, not that Taylor Swift does either…
Nothing, and I mean nothing will improve a Justin Bieber song (other than it not existing), “As Long As You Love Me” is just an awful song altogether and this version is even worse, if that’s even possible. Love will not feed me Justin, love will not pay next months rent, maybe it works in Bieber-land, but in the real world, no, it doesn’t work. “This Girl Is On Fire” is covered and let’s be honest, by this point parents, you’re wishing that this CD was on fire. The only good thing about the “Feel This Moment” track is that Pitbull isn’t actually on it, but I’m sure if the producers had asked him he would’ve appeared, he has no shame.
A cover of a Bruno Mars song that’s pretty sexually charged should make anyone over the age of 16 wonder why they’re listening to the album. Again, there’s really nothing wrong with the original song but it’s distilled here and there are some honestly bad singers in this group. “Your sex takes me to paradise” is replaced with “Your love takes me to paradise” because that makes sense… “Suit & Tie” is covered on Kidz Bop 24 and this is where I’ve stopped wondering, because even more than Bruno Mars, this song is super sexual, there’s no covering it up, period.
If you really want to hear an awful cover song, “Some Night”s originally made famous by fun. is a really, really craptastic song. Nate Ruess can’t sing if his life depended on it anymore and yet somehow with this version the Kidz makes the Glee version seem like the greatest song to ever have been recorded. On “I Cry” (Flo-Rida) when the Kidz try to sing what was originally a sample it sounds… really bizarre because the producers try to make it sound like it’s a sample but it’s clearly kids singing the original hook and not a sampled version. That sentence makes no sense, much like why this whole series exists to begin with.
Why yes Kidz Bop “Ho Hey” really needed to be covered.
Probably the two most offensive songs on this whole Kidz Bop 23/24 album set is “Gangnam Style” and “Thrift Shop.” Gone is the “Hey sexy lady” from the original “Gangnam Style” and replaced with “hey… hey lady.” If you thought the original version was annoying well this one raises the bar (or lowers it?). As for “Thrift Shop” well… that had lyrics that never quite made sense anyway, “walk up to the club like what up I got a big c**k” is replaced with “walk up to the club like what up I got a hit song” what? Really, is it that hard to just go buy the edited single on iTunes (it even says “EDITED” right next to it), it’s like, $1.29 at most. These two Kidz Bop versions are just abominations, even if “Gangnam Style” is borderline offensive already. The chance that your kids have heard the original, unedited versions is pretty high. YouTube is only a click away… Slightly more annoying is “I Love It” by Icona Pop. If there’s one thing that the Swedes know how to do is make really annoyingly catchy pop music (“I Saw The Sign” anyone?). “You’re from the 70s but I’m a Kidz Bop kid…” what. the. hell…
Just – just stop supporting crap like this. I get it parents, your kids want what they want, but stop fueling this and supporting whomever is releasing these extremely subpar cover songs that sound like they’re karaoke singers on a thirsty thursday. Also, buying this really does nothing to support the original singers/musicians (they get a few cents from royalties probably). Even if the term “musician” is a question mark next to some of the original versions, they still deserve your hard earned money more than this does. Again, seriously, just avoid this, teach your kids that the original version is always tops. Stop, stop supporting this stuff. But considering there are 24 releases I’m sure you won’t. It’s blasted on the front of the album cover “music sung by kids for kids” do kids really need kiddie pop songs? Stop and think about that, we already have Bieber, Grayson Chance, T-Swift, the Stella kids from Nashville, we already have kids singing songs to kids and adults and in a far better way (apart from Bieber).
(You’re probably wondering why I decided to review these two albums, well, why not? They’re “music” in the loosest sense of the term and they are being bought. It started when I saw a commercial for them on TV a few weeks back, it was mind blowing that people would pay to hear kidz singing watered down versions of pop songs… from there the review just rolled down hill.)