Radio Disney Kid Jams

Various Artists

Walt Disney Records, 1999

REVIEW BY: Christopher Thelen


My daughter turns three years old at the end of the month, and like most toddlers her age, she is really getting into all things Disney. She has had a love affair with Winnie-The-Pooh for well over a year now (even leading Grandpa Thelen to buy her the "My Interactive Pooh" for the times I'm not on the computer). My wife and I are slowly building a collection of Disney movies for her to watch over and over again (guess which one is her favorite?). And, recently my wife found "Radio Disney" on the dial, giving my daughter her own radio station to fall in love with.

Now, for the kids who can't get enough of the station (and for those of us who find their radio dials otherwise occupied on the daily commute to and from work), my_heart_sings_the_harmony_web_ad_alt_250 Radio Disney Kid Jams is out on CD. While some might be compelled to brush it off as a "best-of-today" compilation, it turns out to be a very respectable compilation for kids of all ages.

One prerequisite, of course, is that you have to enjoy hip-hop and a light dose of rap. The inclusion of 2 Unlimited (someone name me one compilation album that "Get Ready For This" isn't on these days), Technotronic ("Pump Up The Jam") and M.C. Hammer ("U Can't Touch This" - it really wasn't that bad a song, just overplayed in 1990) make sure these bases are well-covered.

A surprise inclusion is the original - and I do mean original - version of "Macarena" from Los Del Rio. Gone are the teeny-bopper voices making up the verses; this entire song is in Spanish, and even features some key changes that I wasn't expecting. This is a pleasant surprise to include on Radio Disney Kid Jams, and the album's producers should be commended for putting this particular version on the CD.

There are a few other surprises in store on Radio Disney Kid Jams, such as "Weird Al" Yankovic's Star Wars tribute, "Yoda". When I was a teenager, I was big into Yankovic's music, but I fell away quickly. This track shows me that Yankovic is still the master parody artist of our time. Likewise, giving Steve Vai a chance to shred on his cover of "Wipeout" is interesting, if not the real head-scratching inclusion. (Something for the older listeners, nearing the pre-teen years, perhaps?)

Being a product from Disney, the inclusion of tracks from a soundtrack or two is inevitable. Fortunately, they chose well with "Hakuna Matata" from The Lion King (a little something for the younger kiddies) and Donny Osmond's "I'll Make A Man Out Of You" from Mulan.

Whether you're within sniffing distance of your thirties ("I Got You (I Feel Good)" from James Brown, "Ghostbusters" from Ray Parker, Jr.) or you're young and bopping along to today's superstars (Hanson's "River" - which sound a bit like Hootie & The Blowfish - and Backstreet Boys's "Quit Playing Games With My Heart"), there has to be something on Radio Disney Kid Jams that will make you smile and get your feet tapping. This disc proves that just because you grow older, you don't necessarily have to grow up.

Rating: A-

User Rating: Not Yet Rated



© 1999 Christopher Thelen and The Daily Vault. All rights reserved. Review or any portion may not be reproduced without written permission. Cover art is the intellectual property of Walt Disney Records, and is used for informational purposes only.