various artists,
Disney Channel Hits
(Walt Disney, 2004)

Disney Channel Hits is simply the Disney Channel -- the audio version. It was exactly what I expected, the general candy-sweet pop drivel that makes my brain slowly turn to goosh. Of course, it makes my 6-year-old daughter into an empowered, self-assured rock star on the rise, so there's that to say in its favor.

It's true kids' music, as only children have so little life experience to be able to appreciate it. But, having said all that in the negative, let's consider the up-side.

Kid's music has become all about self-esteem and peer-relations nowadays, and it really does make a difference. My children are certainly more confident and self-aware than I was as a child, which is due in part to constant reinforcement from the shows that Disney Channel, Nickelodeon and even PBS endlessly run. Be it 6 a.m., or 11 p.m., parents are guaranteed suitable viewing options, and we can hand them off to these networks for at least a few minutes of guilt-free quiet time.

And I think that's the benefit to this CD as well. I'm not super-concerned that the messages in this music will expose my daughter to negative emotions or mature situations. It's pretty innocent, just like her. Plus, the be-boppy music and rap-funky beats are guaranteed to get kids dancing; even my 11-year-old son will think it's cool.

We're all Hillary Duff fans here (except for my sometimes-curmudgeonly husband) and we get a quick dose of her upbeat baby-voice on the second track, "I Can't Wait." More from Hillary would have been welcome. Raven steals the CD with her powerful vocals, but her rap-based music tends to become repetitive quickly.

Christy Carlson Romano's "Say the Word" comes from the Kim Possible show, where it must be better featured. It's screaming for an action scene. Strange but amusing is "The Naked Mole Rap," about a boy's inventive solution to his father's pet allergy.

For the "retro" parents, (i.e., me) LMNT, another Kim Possible contributor, is a bit reminiscent of Green Day, so I was able to find something to relate to in this party for the young ones.

The audio CD is accompanied by a DVD of short videos for several of the songs, mostly outatkes from the shows from which they came. The material seemed to me appropriate even for young viewers, with the minor exception of Raven's second video, "Supernatural," which I thought a tad oversexualized. All in all though, there's little on either CD or DVD to offend even the most overprotective parent (again, me) and plenty to entertain the kids.

And yes, there's a Naked Mole Rap video. So what more could you ask for?

- Rambles
written by Katie Knapp
published 27 November 2004

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