I thought I had a good 10 years before I started hating the music my preschooler likes. But then came Barbie: The Look, an undistinguished compilation of pop songs sung by anonymous voices meant to approximate that of Mattel’s buxom plastic doll, with a photo of Barbie herself on the cover. In other words, a likely megahit.
The 3-year-old, who does not yet own a Barbie, understands anyway. ”Boys can’t listen to this,” she said smugly, rotating her non-hips to a fuzzy cover of the Jackson 5’s ”ABC.” Her favorite song of the 10: an original tune, ”Shy Boy” (”Gonna give you all the love ”).
Songs I could tolerate: covers of ”Twist and Shout” and Cyndi Lauper’s ”Girls Just Wanna Have Fun,” both high on pep and low on sexual implications. The title tune, a cover of Roxette’s hit (”She’s a vision in a dream dressin’ like a film star ”) describes just the superficial values you want a girl to learn, but the world-saving ”Together We Can Do It,” an original song, is okay. It’s a duet between Barbie and Shari Belafonte and debuted at last fall’s Barbie’s International Children’s Summit, a convention of peace-loving Barbie owners from many countries, held in New York. I’m not kidding.
This collection won’t teach your kid about music or life. But it will develop her teenage sensibility and nudge her toward the Debbie Gibson-New Kids on the Block years. After listening to Barbie: The Look, the 3-year-old disappeared and returned wearing a bra. I wish I were kidding, but I’m not. D+