A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this music.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that these chart-topping CDs have kids covering popular songs -- songs that aren't always the best suited for young ears (although chances are really young ones won't even blink at "let's get it on tonight"). While most of the tunes are edited, some aren't: Nickelback's "Hero," J-Lo's "Jenny From the Block," and Ashanti's "Just a Friend" are good examples where inappropriate content is left in. It's also useful to keep in mind that this prolific music machine produces pretty bad stuff vocally and instrumentally, and may have you running out of the room as soon as your kid hits play.
What's the story?
KIDZ BOP CDs are the kind of music that parents want to like. Certainly the people at Kidz Bop had the best intentions when they created this popular series. They wanted to provide kid-friendly versions of current songs by popular artists so families could share an enjoyable music experience together. And perhaps they might have succeeded if they had done a better job of cleaning up the few songs with lines that just aren't appropriate for kids and found musicians who didn't sound like first-round American Idol rejects.
Is it any good?
There's usually little objectionable lyrical content, but there's also no heart, passion, or soul. And, the quality of music is so dreadful that you may not want to bother: The instrumentation is synthesized and lacks inspiration; the mastering so carelessly handled that it sounds like someone threw a wet towel over the mixes. Even the anonymous singing kids sound like they would rather be doing something else.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about why Kidz Bop covers already popular songs. Do you think that covering a song is a form of flattery or not? How do they choose the songs? Are they always age appropriate? What songs would you like to hear covered? Does having kids sing the tunes make them more appealing?