Album review: Kidz Bop 38? More like “Modern Masterpiece”

Logo_of_KidzBopWith 38 years of musical creativity under its belt, kidzbop.com boasts itself as being “The No.1 Music Brand for Kids.”

BY
Column Editor

After enduring 45 minutes of prepubescent kids singing the latest mainstream hits, I can safely say that Kidz Bop 38 reflects the voice of a generation.

Creatively titled Kidz Bop 38 — an obscure reference to this being their 38th record, generally only understood by the real Kidz Bop groupies — this revolutionary work was released on Jul. 13 of this year. Following the pattern of prior Kidz Bop albums, Kidz Bop 38 features a compilation of songs of the past year performed by a group of — wait for it — kids. Many of the songs featured on the compilation have their lyrics altered, in order to make the album’s content more “kid friendly.”

Initially, I was hesitant to even listen to Kidz Bop, as the high-pitched screams of 12-year-olds instantly conjured up memories of my own childhood: braces, begging my mom to let me buy clothes from Justice that were bright enough to cause permanent eye damage and having so many Silly Bandz on my arms that I nearly lost my circulation. However, I put these feelings aside, took a risk and listened to the album in its entirety.

Immediately, I was entranced by the eerie shouts and high-pitched wails that the album featured.

The album begins with an artfully composed cover of the 2018 hit — played on the radio to the point of being almost intolerable — “The Middle” by Zedd, Maren Morris and Grey. The singers’ voices soar higher than Snoop Dogg as they emphatically shout the lyrics of a song with an excited energy that blows the original out of the water.

The second track, a cover of “Finesse” by Bruno Mars and Cardi B, finds the group singing, “Blame it on my confidence or blame it on the way we dance,” in a creative, artful lyrical maneuver to keep the album safe for the innocent ears of children. Although it sounds as though it came straight out of an elementary school hell, the song will remain stuck in listeners’ heads for days.

By the halfway point of Kidz Bop 38 — marked by Ariana Grande’s musical masterpiece, “No Tears Left to Cry” listeners will find that they, too, are out of tears to cry. Whether these tears are from joy or self-hate is up to the listener’s discretion.

One of the last tracks of the album, a cover of Drake’s inescapable song, “God’s Plan,” is one that will transcend the ages. “Don’t call up at 6 a.m. to talk here with me,” the Kidz Bop crew sings, replacing “cuddle” with “talk,” adding depth to the track. With proud, piercing vocals, the singers assert their confidence of their place in the music industry: “Without all the singing, there’d be no me / Imagine if I never met the KB [Kidz Bop].”

Overall, this record is one of the musical highlights of this year. Listeners may have difficulty getting into the style and lyrical content, however, after the midpoint of the album, anyone is guaranteed to become a diehard Kidz Bop groupie. Unlike much modern music, this album can elicit a wide range of emotions within one listen: self-hate, boredom, joy, sadness, nostalgia, laughter and more.

If there is any album of 2018 that is worthy of multiple Grammys, it is surely this one.

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