Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Kidz Bop Suckz

I hate Kidz Bop. Hate it. Hate it. Hate it. For starters I can't stand when companies spell words in a cutesy way, especially when it comes to children. Here I am trying to teach my just-learning-to-read rising first grader that the plural of "kids" does not end in a "z." Of course he argues with me because he holds up the damn Kidz Bop CD case as evidence. Granted, Bird is a contrarian by nature (just like Mac Daddy, ahem, just sayin'), but in this case he's not being argumentative. I am a mother and a marketer, and in both roles I can't stand cutesy spelling. It's no different than the nonsensical babytalk that the Rugrats and Wonder Pets babble. All that Ga Ga is Ka Ka.

Those baby voices and Kidz Bop make my ears hurt like the entire city of Cleveland grating their fingernails on a chalkboard in unison to the beat of Rock n' Roll Hoochie Koo.

Unless my children are the ones singing, I have no interest in hearing a bunch of kids sing. Sorry, folks, but that ain't music to my ears. Kidz Bop takes top 40 pop music and records a bunch of kids and tweens singing those songs, many of which would not make the parental rating cut in my house. When the lyrics include things like "just shut your mouth" or "stupid," I turn it off. Likewise when the lyrics crank out some homeboy garble and attitude like "witchchoo" instead of "with you." Obviously poetic license reigns in song writing. For adults. Kids's music is a different story. I cannot stand the too cool for school attitude and lost innocence of youth that Kidz Bop purports. Besides, the original is always better. Kidz Bop bastardizes the songs, making car rides painfully numbing.

I think such music perpetutates the grown-up-too-soon attitude, lack of manners, and disrespect in the same way that all that writing on the hiney of girls' pants does. It's simply not age appropriate, not that words sprawled across one's fanny is ever appropriate. My sons are almost 6 and 4. They got those damn Kidz Bop CDs in McDonald's Happy Meals, that are age appropriate (And save the McDonald's lashing for another day, folks. Yes, we eat there occasionally and dig it. Move off the soapbox.). Personally, I think it was a sucky move for McDonald's to include those CDs as a Happy Meal toy. I'm all for music instead of made in China junk, but at least make it good music that isn't so precocious. I don't know about you, but I see plenty of bratty kids running amok. The last thing I need is for those kids to start cranking out orders for chicken noodle soup with a soda on the side.

There's plenty of good music for kids out there. I don't buy a lot of music that is kid specific, but my boys do listen to music not in the kid genre that is perfectly fun and appropriate. Here's a sampling of some staples on our iPod:

Journey - especially Don't Stop Believin'
Abba - Mamma Mia is a crowd fave.
The Beatles - We even build an Octopus's Garden every time we go to the beach.
KC and the Sunshine Band - Boogie Shoes gets us all dancing.
Cats soundtrack - Magical Mister Mistoffeles just might be our next cat's name.
Jimmy Buffet - Chanson Pour les Petits Enfants is a sure fire way to chill out the kids. And it helps with the French lessons.
Squirrel Nut Zippers - Just fun to jam to
Beach Boys and anything beachy - Good ole happy tunes with a bit of shag mixed in
Bare Naked Ladies - Fun music, but I just tell Bird and Deal that the band's name is BNL.

And these days there are plenty of good bands out there geared toward kids. We just saw Dan Zanes a few nights ago, and the show was fantastic. I'm ready to be a groupie! The Sippy Cups are also fun without being dorky (OK, but a bit of dorkiness is part of their appeal.). They Might Be Giants is awesome music whether it's the original stuff or their kid stuff. I mean really, "A little birdhouse in your soul" is so lovely and lilting. And they all beat the freaking Wiggles by a long shot.

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Jo said...

Amen and amen. That is all.

NYCity Mama said...

OMG...Thank you. I will tell you this, I will take my 11 year old to a Green Day Concert 50 times over, than have to endure another car ride with the stupid Kidz Suck CD with my 2.5 and 4 year old. Give me any one of the artists on your playlist...add a few 80s rock bands more and we're a family happily listening to it.

Jen L. said...

GAH, I love you. I hate cutesy spellings, too, especially replacing C's with K's. (Except in the case of Krispy Kremes. Then it is acceptable due to high amounts of deliciousness.)

Um, our iPods are VERY similar, darling. It shall be easy to make a mix tape for our upcoming road trip! Way to go teaching the boys about good music, I say!

The Mother said...

My kids were raised on classic rock. The real stuff. They play name that tune in the car with Dad and know about The Who and the Grateful Dead and Def Leopard.

And not one of them ever got into those dastardly pop bands.

I do have a Katie Perry fan, but then, so am I.

DCUrbanDad said...


I have made sure from day one to get the bean into everyday music from Stevie Wonder to BNL to Van Morrison to Pete Yorn to Barry White.

You gotta appreciate all types. Except the crap.

Anonymous said...

AMEN! HATE that kidz bop too. Threw away their free CDs from McD's.
Have you tried "Trout Fishing in America?" Palatable for grown ups and kids both...

Amanda Petite Mommy said...

I just wrote something similar a few days ago. I HATE those kidzbop CDS. Yuck.

Silly Bus said...

It is a very nice and good post. Keep up the good work.