The Kidz Bop series is for wee ones what the Now That's What I Call Music is for teens and adults: A handy index of what's hot among one's pop-loving peers. Just because you'd be asked at parties where Kidz Bop plays, "Would you like cake and ice cream?" and not "Dude, where's the beer?" doesn't mean that the music is any less important to its listeners.
The Kidz Bop franchise has literally trademarked the phrase "today's most popular songs — sung by kids for kids," and it's the most successful children's music series of all time. The ninth edition, released in late February of 2006, debuted at #2 on the Billboard charts and includes series favorites (hits by Gwen Stefani, Kelly Clarkson and Green Day had appeared on previous editions), novelties (Rihanna's "Pon De Replay") and some pop chestnuts (Roxette's "Listen to Your Heart") likely placed here to appeal to mom. What makes Kidz Bop different from the Now series is that the songs are remakes by more or less anonymous singers. Racy lyrics are toned down, and each song has an odd system of peer review in place: The Kidz sing over each chorus and on the more memorable lines of the verse. This formula works best for songs by fairly faceless vocal talents like Stefani or Clarkson, but less so on diva-demanding tracks like Mariah Carey's "We Belong Together." Then there's the Crazy Frog song, placed last so dad won't turn the album off before it's over. Now that's what I call annoying.