Class of 3000: Music Volume One
La Face Records / Cartoon Network
If all you ever watch on cartoon network is Adult Swim, you’re spoiled. There’s this whole other world of painfully correct kids programming, epitomized by the rather awkward album helmed by Andre “3000” Benjamin. He plays Sunny Bridges, a retired superstar who returns to his old school to teach precocious child musicians. The children seem carefully researched to meet the demographics most palatable to advertisers and represent the perfect mix of Black, Asian, White, poor, rich, goofy, gifted, overweight, and sexually ambiguous. While they are all animated and thus not necessarily constrained by the physical world we live in, they all seem like they are 45 years old and have spent most of their lives in a jazz club. The music feels like a watered-down version of Cab Calloway or Charlie Parker, and while the mix is acceptable, the sound itself is derivative, lacking the fire so often found in automobile advertisements. The one song that has some adult entertainment value is “We Want Your Soul.” The Kidz and Sunny meet up with some recording execs that make no bones about what they want in exchange for fame, and the cash is deferred. There’s a good jazz workout in “My Mentor”, but beyond that, the offerings range from uninteresting to uninspiring with quirky titles like “UFO Ninja” or “Banana Zoo.” This album feels more network-driven than what I would expect from an Andre “3000” project and is strictly for the kiddies.