It has happened. At this point in time, we are in the middle of an important moment in music history. This claim has only been made a handful of times in the past and out of those few events, the music in reference has successfully withstood the test of time. Bob Dylan’s Highway 61 Revisited continues to inspire billions on a daily basis with its folksy ballad-stylization. Since it’s inception, Pink Floyd’s Dark Side of the Moon Landing has set the precedent for all new music throughout the world, presenting to the world the new and creative potential of timpani’s and modular synthesis, and was the first album ever to be taken across Oklahoma state lines. But for the first time in history, those excuses for quality music have officially been usurped. The test of time can only reach so far from the 60’s and 70’s, and it’s difficult to predict where the reputation of those albums will end up in 200 or 300 years, as no other album has existed for such a length of exposure. But there is another. The experts are calling it the future of music as we know it, the connective point to the past and future of music in our time, a revelation of creativity and the triumph of the human spirit over the adversity of what we previously believed to be good music. They’re calling it the “Kidz Bop Kraze”, the second coming of music, the next great point of entrance into a new age of sound. March 23, 2015 will be a day that we lay mark upon the history books: The official release of Kidz Bop 28.
Never in the history of sound has there been a collection of work more compelling or sonically provocative than the Kidz Bop series. Ever since the first release in October of 2000 with the chart-spotting hit cover of Smashmouth’s “Shrek-star”, the Kidz Bop kids ever-changing lineup has kept the youthful energy of 2000 alive. Over the course of several long years, the castrati quartet disbanded and reformed after struggles with food addiction, but managed to pull together a solid collective through an extensive interview program organized by an Arizona-based talent agency after the original four members passed away and the previous 28 kids (totaling in 7 separate lineups) were arrested in a tax evasion suit back in 2003. Today, through the process of societal and legal elimination, we are left with the four best and brightest members, 12 year-old Darren O’Conner, 13 year-old Jeremy Bildrop, 11 year-old Jessica Length, and 8 year-old Spud Kubiak.
For those who don’t fully understand Kidz Bop, it is a collective of kidz that produce reimaginings of chart-topping hit songs with child-like wonder and the vocal emulation of a jammed microwave oven rotary dish. Nothing in this world sounds like what they sound like, and nothing else should. Ed Sheeran himself has accredited the Kidz Bop Kidz to originally writing and producing his hit single “Thinking Out Loud” several years before his own release.
Sherran later commented on his theft of the original song, calling it a “downright act of wrong-doing and selfishness”, further adding that he believed “The Kidz were born to do this. I myself have never been able to keep up with such insurmountable skill and charm. I am beaten, and as a result have been forced to leave the music industry after many years of trial and error. The Kidz are the wave of the future.”
They blaze the trail for rising child stars, including the upcoming teen-pop sensation DoDo, a highly skilled vocalist from the sequestered rolling hills of Arkansas. Her home-state tradition is extended through her as the region is known for producing the most influential teen-pop idols today, including Jamie Biebster, Selena Gomer Pyle, Phillip Phillip Phillips, and Sam Smith.
Many non-believers claim that the kidz are frivolous and poor interpreters of already dull pop songs, most of which would be considered unsuitable for children to sing. To those dissenters, I say open your eyes and ears. There is no stopping what is coming, and no preconceived concept of societal revolution can amount to what falls upon our generation, and what will continue to fall for many more generations to come. We are in the headlights of a transformation in our time, a transformation of such compelling magnitude that no criticism or resistance can quell.
Kidz Bop 28 features all new original hits such as “Ghost”, “Waves”, “Blame”, “Heroes”, and “Don’t Believe Me Just Watch”. The earlier work of the kidz bop kids was a bit too new-wave for the general public’s tastes, but when Kidz Bop Christmas Wish List came out in 2014, they really reached their peak, commercially and artistically. The entire album has a clear crisp sound and a new sheen of consummate professionalism that really gives the songs a big boost. They’ve been compared to Siouxsie and the Banshees, but I think the Kidz Bop kids have a far more colorful, light-hearted sense of humor. Without a doubt their undisputed masterpiece is “Thinking Out Loud”, a song so catchy that most people wouldn’t normally listen to the lyrics. But they should, because it’s not just about the importance of speaking your mind and the importance of friendship, it’s also a personal statement about the group itself.
Join the revolution and take heed to the reckoning with which we are charged with and guilty of, for the musicologists and historians of the future will remark upon this time as the turning point against what we thought we knew about music. This is a new era, a new dawn, a new age. Become a part of the Kraze.