I understand that, despite what clichs might teach us, there are crimes that go unpunished. There are irresponsible and ill-considered acts that, every day, escape the long arm of justice.
Kidz Bop, for example.
The inexplicable youth-oriented collections, now in its 20th volume, take child-friendly pop hits and, with a little studio wizardry, add children singing to each oddly neutered track.
The result, rather than disarming, is disconcerting. A chorus of preteens singing Daniel Powter's Bad Day or Ashlee Simpson's L.O.V.E. doesn't seem to make these tracks any more kid-friendly, just disturbing.
It's a trend with tentacles. Earlier this year, the usually groundbreaking 1980s act Devo released Devo 2.0, an album of the band's hits reinterpreted by a preteen band. I don't know whether that qualifies as passing the torch - or permanently putting it out. I mean, what will be next? Sabbath for Daddy and Daughter? Jay-Z ABCs?
It should be noted that I've long been a proponent of compilations assembled with younger listeners in mind. I find music written for children to be condescending, but I acknowledge that much of what the record industry releases is not always appropriate for developing ears. It can be tough finding the middle ground between Itsy Bitsy Spider and Eminem.
I've found that my daughter (3 years old today - happy birthday, baby!) will sing along to kids' songs but will also rock the car seat when Daddy puts on the Godfather. Granted, she is, in my unbiased opinion, a superior child; still, I believe there is room in every music-loving kid's diet for some quality pop, meat-and-potatoes rock and a smattering of soul.
It certainly beats sugar-coated junk such as Kidz Bop.
Reach Steven Uhles at (706) 823-3626 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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