#2. Pretty Much Any Adele Song (Featured on Kidz Bop 21 and Kidz Bop 22)
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Look, I understand that in the strictest sense of censorship tradition there's no reason to worry about a bunch of kids singing your ex-girlfriend's favorite songs. After all, Adele is just a girl who sings about missing the guy who broke her heart. There are no curse words. No one dies. No one has strip club champagne room sex. They're perfectly innocent songs. They're also the saddest shit ever.
Listen, makers of Kidz Bop, there is nothing in the Constitution that says you must include a song on your ridiculous albums simply because it performed well on the Billboard charts. I get that "Someone Like You" was the biggest song of whatever year it came out, but isn't the "girls aged 6 to 8" demographic a bit early to start selling the idea that breaking up with your boyfriend is a life change worthy of funeral music?
They do make sure to change one word, though:
See that? Of all the potential "too hot for kids" lines in the song, the one about getting married is probably the last one they should have focused on. A better choice? Oh, I don't know, maybe the line immediately after that? You know, the one where Adele wonders if maybe the relationship failed because the other girl gave the man in question things she didn't? Right, it's never too early to learn that the best way to keep a man is to give him anything he wants. It's what all the popular girls are doing, you know. Just look at Adele! People love her!
You know who else loves Adele? Kidz Bop! This isn't the only song from England's newest hit maker that they've given the "add an inappropriate chorus of children" treatment. Remember this song?
That's "Set Fire to the Rain," and it's goddamn intense, especially when the vocals are being handled by an awkward 12-year-old boy.
Relax, Child Protective Services enthusiasts: No matter the emotional intensity conveyed by Adele's vocals, there's nothing going on in this song that you wouldn't hear coming out of the mouths of so many tweens across the country. Case in point:
See? You probably ran home to Mom and blurted out something just like that when your first boyfriend dumped you after fifth period math. Nothing to see here, folks. Just kids being morbidly depressed kids.
#1. Britney Spears -- "Toxic" (Featured on Kidz Bop 6)
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Let's talk about high-water marks. When it comes to the music of Britney Spears, "Toxic" was just that, a creative peak she'll probably never reach again. Am I saying it's a good song? No, I'm saying it's a great song.
"Toxic" is also a high-water mark of sorts for the Kidz Bop franchise, in that it represents the apex of their we-don't-give-a-fuckitude as it relates to letting the Kidz loose on songs they have no business even being within earshot of. This song could not be more about sex if it was literally called "Britney Spears Sings About Sex." So of course you're going to want a version for the kids ...
If you steadfastly refuse to listen to either version, enjoy a sampling of the kid-unfriendly lines they have in common. Like this beauty, for example:
Given Britney Spears' history of drug abuse, she could just as easily be singing about OxyContin there. Either way, it's not the kind of thing you want your kids singing when the grandparents come around. And there's more!
Yep, I feel you. We're using substance abuse as a metaphor for sex. Isn't that right, kids?
That was a rhetorical question. So, this is all pretty racy stuff for a kids' song. Does the Kidz Bop version of the song bother changing anything at all? Sure, occasionally this happens:
I love the enthusiasm, kids! In their defense, at least the Kidz Bop people pull the same "let an adult sing the dirty bits" trick here that they've employed on so many other songs. It makes absolutely no difference, of course, but I applaud the effort nonetheless. Unfortunately, it turns out making something kid-friendly involves more than just having a bunch of kids in the room when it's happening.