Music

Friday Playlist: Kidz Bop

Don’tcha just wanna pinch their li’l cheeks?

Our culture has a strange relationship with the sound of children singing—a negative relationship. When a movie director needs a shortcut to Creepsville, all they have to do is throw in a kid singing an innocent-sounding tune. When a couple of artists polled people in 1997 on what sounds they definitely did NOT want to hear, one of the top answers was “children singing.” (Those guys combined all of the most-hated musical elements to make what they call “The Most Unwanted Song,” which features a children’s chorus singing about Christmas.) But I’m gonna go out on a limb and say that kids are cute, and it’s cute when they sing. This playlist proves my point. Sometimes these babies are backing up an adult singer on the chorus and sometimes they’re the star, but they’re always adorable, and they make this old grump feel something that I guess is “love for humanity,” or something.

Illustration by Minna

Illustration by Minna

25 Comments

  • FlowerandtheVine April 26th, 2013 11:26 PM

    I love that version of “Feels Like We Only Go Backwards”! That is somehow the perfect song for children to sing.

    http://flowerandthevine.wordpress.com

  • vvk97 April 26th, 2013 11:51 PM

    Love Lennon and Maisy! Also, have you heard Wing$ by Macklemore? The chorus is kids singing and it’s so powerful. One of my favorite songs.

  • Leannantae April 27th, 2013 12:27 AM

    Lennon and Maisy have such wonderfully developed voices for such young girls! Love their work!

  • Helena K. April 27th, 2013 12:40 AM

    Good Day is one of my favorite songs ever! so happy. I put it on my finals playlist to get through that week of horror.

  • returnal April 27th, 2013 1:08 AM

    james brown smiths and the fabled Hot Cheetos and Takis god bless you Rookie <3

    also omg nice to see Sonic Youth's Goodbye 20th Century album getting some love via yoko ono's voice piece for soprano

    you guys are the ultrabest

  • Jamie Bick April 27th, 2013 1:10 AM

    The children’s chorus on “Pa Pa Power” and the rest of the Dead Man’s Bones album is pretty great.

  • kittyweasel April 27th, 2013 1:48 AM

    I instantly thought of the Aaliyah song, “Are You That Somebody?” with the god-awful baby cry sample in the background. I guess it’s not children singing, but I consider it a sound I do NOT wanna hear.

  • streaked lights April 27th, 2013 1:57 AM

    Can i also suggest the soundtracks of ‘Les Choristes’ and ‘Coraline’, both done by Bruno Coulais?

    He uses children’s vocals in both of them (especially Chroristes, since it’s essentially ‘Dead Poets Society’ but with an elementary school choir) and it’s just heavenly!

    http://www.anooshdraws.blogspot.com

  • mondegreen April 27th, 2013 4:05 AM

    I also like Be Proud Of Your Kids by Melody’s Echo Chamber, the little girl singing in that song is actually cute :)
    also Dutch psychedelic genius Jacco Gardner has a song with no lyrics but only a laughing baby, called Cabinet Of Curiosities (his album has the same name, go check it out, it is magical)!

  • Harry Morse April 27th, 2013 7:07 AM

    I will be listening to “Hot Cheetos and Takis” continually for the next year of my life. Thanks Rookie!

    On an unrelated note the most ridiculous song of my lifetime is “Baby” by Major Lazer, which starts with a sample of a baby crying that is eventually auto-tuned, played on loop, and used as the track beneath the some of the dance-iest dancehall vocals I’ve ever heard…… It’s aaawweesome.

  • Rhiannon April 27th, 2013 7:12 AM

    They sang a song about me! yaaaay

  • Julia April 27th, 2013 9:05 AM

    this song sung by yamasuki has the cutest kids ever: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9_4-uTEzWLk

  • Chloe22 April 27th, 2013 9:24 AM

    Great playlist, but you should include some One Direction (not in this one, as none of their songs have kid choruses). Like maybe one with the theme of Crushes (Everything About You) or Party Anthems (Live While We’re Young, Up All Night). Their cover of One Way Or Another is awesome too, though! http://rhinestonemoon.blogspot.com/

  • Isabelle97 April 27th, 2013 12:53 PM

    Is that Scout in the image? Looking happy in a dress?

    • abby111039 April 27th, 2013 2:16 PM

      It is. That was the first thing I noticed when I saw this. :)

  • taste test April 27th, 2013 1:39 PM

    aah, the most unwanted song has been mentioned on rookie! I love it, it’s a bizarro hilarious trainwreck. and the stupid little children’s choir parts are the best. once I found an edit someone made of all those bits by themselves, downloaded it, and stuck it at the end of a mix CD I made my friend for her birthday as a hidden track… I’m still proud of myself for that haha

  • caro nation April 27th, 2013 2:48 PM

    Smog

  • rhymeswithorange April 27th, 2013 6:15 PM

    I thought this was actual Kidz Bop at first and I was quite disgusted! Glad to know you’re keeping the faith Rookie :)

  • wiltedrues April 27th, 2013 7:31 PM

    Hot Cheetos & Takis! Totally know some of their older siblings. The kids wrote that entire song themselves :)

  • Caroline Hanna April 28th, 2013 8:31 AM

    The Langley schools music project? I haven’t even read the whole playlist yet because as soon I as read that I scrolled right down to the comment box! I’ve never seen anyone reference that album online other than the few videos I found on YouTube. If anyone has not already, I recommend listening to the entire album, Innocence & Despair! The story behind it, an inexperienced music teacher allowing young students to sing what they want, is just as intriguing as the music produced!! Thank you so much for adding it to your playlist. A pleasant surprise :@)

  • jenaimarley April 29th, 2013 11:15 AM

    I am so obsessed with this!
    Cuckoo from Moonrise Kingdom is my jam.

    • lubs April 29th, 2013 3:39 PM

      yes! I was going to add that! Moonrise Kingdom’s soundtrack is filled with lovely kid choir singin and it’s awesome.

  • Cactus Woman April 30th, 2013 12:14 PM

    I love this! It reminds me of that track on the Charlie Brown Christmas album where all the kid characters sing “Christmastime is Here”.

    On #6, I’m loving the Icona Pop integration so much!!!

    #9 reminds me of Charlie and Lola.

    Also, Kimya Dawson has some awesome songs featuring a bunch of kids.

  • dismantle_me April 30th, 2013 1:32 PM

    You totally forgot about Karen O and the Where The Wild Things Are OST.
    Still, this playlist is lovely <3

  • yellowplaid May 2nd, 2013 5:38 PM

    No kidz bop songs? rofl.