Apparently This Matters: Kidz Bop and 'Call Me Maybe'

This week, Jarrett learns that just because it's trending on Twitter doesn't mean it's actually listenable.

Story highlights

  • In this week's "Apparently This Matters," Jarrett Bellini takes on Kidz Bop
  • The kiddie music series was trending on Twitter after an ad aired on Nickelodeon
  • What's new? Kids now warble Carly Rae Jepsen's "Call Me Maybe"
  • In summation: Kidz Bop is no "Houses of the Holy"

On Monday afternoon, something called Kidz Bop was trending on Twitter. I had never heard of it, but was instantly amused by the word "Bop."

You see, when I was a kid, Nana lived with us at home in Arizona and she used to wield a giant cardboard wrapping paper roll that we affectionately called her Bopper. When our Great Dane, Shane, would annoy her, she'd promptly try to beat the crap out of him. And he loved it.

But Kidz Bop appeared to be far less amusing than Nana's cardboard bludgeoning stick. As one Twitterererer put it: "Kidz Bop can go die in a hole."

Whatever this Kidz Bop was people weren't happy, and I quickly pieced together from the cascade of angry tweets that it was a compilation children's music series that had just aired a rather annoying commercial on Nickelodeon for its new upcoming release, "Kidz Bop 22."

Which suggests, perhaps, that somewhere in America there's a parent who owns the other 21 disks and is slowly being talked off a ledge.

"Ma'am, it's going to be OK. We brought you some Zeppelin."

The Number: "Call Me Maybe" number 1?
The Number: "Call Me Maybe" number 1?


    The Number: "Call Me Maybe" number 1?


The Number: "Call Me Maybe" number 1? 01:32

The Kidz Bop people tout their CDs as "today's biggest hits sung by kids for kids," and this particular volume contains remakes of 16 pop songs that I've absolutely never heard.

Sure, you may say I'm old and unhip and completely out of touch, but, really, I just spend a lot of time watching "Matlock."

Anyway, one song in particular on the new album that seemed to be immediately tugging at the gag reflex of most people on Twitter was the Kidz Bop remake of "Call Me Maybe" by Carly Rae Jepsen who, in 2007, finished third on "Canadian Idol." Which is exactly the same as "American Idol," except all the contestants have to sing while riding a moose.

The chorus of Jepsen's song goes: "Hey, I just met you. And this is crazy. But here's my number. So call me, maybe."

Moral: "Hey kids ... talk to strangers!"

Now, while I totally understand people finding this song annoying, especially sung by children, I have to admit that, sadly, it's also catchy as hell. And much better than my standard pickup line: "So, you ride Greyhound often?"

A while back, Justin Bieber actually praised "Call Me Maybe" on Twitter, which instantly made it popular, spawning video lip dub remakes by everyone from Katy Perry to the Harvard baseball team.

And now it's immortalized on "Kidz Bop 22." You're welcome.

The Kidz Bop music series is targeted to children aged 5 to 12, and, according to its website, has sold more than 11 million CDs. But I was curious as to just how "safe" they were making these songs.

Thus, I went all the way back to the beginning, the original Kidz Bop, and decided to examine their remake of Ricky Martin's "Livin' La Vida Loca." I figured it would be a good test subject since, so far as I can tell, the song is basically about being drugged and taken advantage of by a sexy Latin hooker.

Which, coincidentally, is also No. 32 on my bucket list.

So, I purchased the Kidz Bop version off iTunes and found that, at least for this one song, not a single lyric had been changed:

"Woke up in New York City in a funky cheap hotel/

She took my heart and she took my money/

She must've slipped me a sleepin' pill."

See? This is why I have a dog. Because I have no idea how to explain "Livin' La Vida Loca" to a child.

"Look, sweetheart, it's complicated. So your mom and I rented you "Deuce Bigalow."

Close enough.

Hey, at least I actually know "Livin' La Vida Loca." At the moment, all of my co-workers are making fun of me for just now learning about "Call Me Maybe."

And I couldn't be more proud.

So, if you need me, I'll be at my desk listening to Zeppelin. Or maybe watching "Matlock."

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