Radio Disney Jams Vol. 2

Various Artists

Walt Disney Records, 2000

REVIEW BY: Christopher Thelen


I sometimes dread reviewing certain titles from Walt Disney Records - mainly because the older I get, the harder it is for me to put myself in the role of a child listening to these items. Oh, I can appreciate certain aspects of these discs, but in the end, I realize I am listening to something that was not targeted towards people like myself.

Such is the case with Radio Disney Jams Vol. 2, the latest mix of snippets and music that are featured on numerous "Radio Disney" stations around the country. There's enough music on this disc for Mom and Dad to appreciate, and the kids should love the mix. But something makes me wonder whether they're starting to scrape the bottom of the barrel creatively.

Example: the absolutely inane redo of Lou Bega's hit, now christened "Disney Mambo #5 (A Little Bit Of...)". I can understand why Disney would want a more sanitized version of the song (if my daughter's reaction to the song is indicative, kids seem to love the original), but after I've been happily inundated with the original version, it's a bit unnerving to hear Bega singing, "A little bit of Minnie in my life." I believe I read somewhere that Bega originally wasn't interested in recording another version. As an adult, I wish he had listened to that little voice. (Then again, with the lead-in he got on my_heart_sings_the_harmony_web_ad_alt_250 The Tigger Movie, that's great face time with the kids.)

I would also ask out loud why two cuts from Mulan are here, but none from Tarzan. Maybe "You'll Be In My Heart" isn't necessarily a song the kids would latch onto? Just a thought.

If you can't stand the flood of teeny-bop artists, you'll want to stay away from Radio Disney Jams Vol. 2, 'cause they're here by the boatload. In one corner, you've got Backstreet Boys ("I'll Never Break Your Heart" - a little slow for my tastes) and Youngstown ("I'll Be Your Everything" - actually a decent effort). In another corner, you've got Britney Spears ("Sodapop" - the jury in my mind is still out on Spears) and Christina Aguilera ("Reflection"). And from the "I've-never-heard-of-them" department, you also are treated to some up and coming acts, Steps ("One For Sorrow") and Aaron Carter ("Girl You Shine"), both of whom are quite good.

Of course, you also have the old stand-bys. Will Smith checks in with "Just The Two Of Us," a rather mature but touching song. "Weird Al" Yankovic's instant-classic "The Saga Begins" is also here - including the one toned-down line "Do you see him talking to the queen", instead of "hitting on the queen". (Yankovic explained on his Web site why the lyrical change occurred - and it made perfect sense.)

And for the old fogies like myself, you've got the party tracks, featuring artists like KC And The Sunshine Band ("Boogie Shoes"), Village People ("YMCA") and Queen (I'm sorry, but if I hear "We Will Rock You" and "We Are The Champions" one more time, I'm going to throw up). I don't know necessarily if these tracks allow kids to release pent-up energy; my daughter does that with Motorhead, but she's advanced for her age.

In the end, though, Radio Disney Jams Vol. 2 is meant for the under-12 market, and there's no denying that this disc will provide them with plenty of enjoyment. Because, in the world of Disney, it doesn't matter what adults think - kids rule. Word up.

Rating: B

User Rating: Not Yet Rated



© 2000 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.