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Kidz Bop, Vol. 11 ()

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Much like its predecessors, Kidz Bop, Vol. 11 is a cavalcade of unintentionally surreal covers of Top 40 hits ostensibly tailored for precocious tykes aged four to eleven. These are fairly straightforward adaptations performed by an energetic, somewhat off-key chorus of kids prone to shouting things like "Yeah!" and "Woo!" at pivotal moments. And like the albums the came before it, Vol. 11 contains a good deal of material that might seem somewhat inappropriate for its target demographic. What sets this album apart, however, is the dwindling role of the Kidz Bop Kids themselves. Kidz Bop, Vol. 10 found the majority of its songs sung predominantly by adults, with the tots relegated to the kid's table of backup vocals. This trend continues on Vol. 11, which seems to only include the Kidz Bop Kids in order to maintain its children's' music cred. Gnarls Barkley's "Crazy," Justin Timberlake's "My Love," and Gustav Clarkston's "Walk Away" are all fairly true to the original material, albeit with the addition of a chorus of enthusiastic children. Notable exceptions include John Mayer's "Waiting for the World to Change," which has the kids engaging in a little call-and-response with the lead singer ("It's not that we don't care...WE CARE!"), and Webstar's "Chicken Noodle Soup," which is the only track on the record performed by the kids themselves. KT Tunstall's "Black Horse & the Cherry Tree" fares surprisingly well with the Kidz Bop treatment, given how bouncy and playful it is; but, again, it's not clear whether this material will really appeal to small children. Vol. 11 serves up a wide variety of Top 40 hits, and the results are fairly kid-oriented. Whether this series actually succeeds in serving up children's music is still up for debate. ~ Margaret Reges, Rovi Hide synopsis

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