Are they the new Menudo? The 21st century answer to N'Sync? New Edition from back when they were new? It seems that they are a little bit all of these things. The six member group ranges in age from 15 (Joshua, the youngest) to 21 (Ron, the oldest) but they certainly all have the look of cherub faced kids, no doubt cultivated by Sony Urban Music and Columbia Records. Ironically five of the six met in COLUMBUS, Ohio aboard something called the John Lennon Educational Tour Bus. Apparently the bus goes from school to school, giving kids an opportunity to play and write their own music in a portable recording studio. Not a bad idea - wish they'd had something like that around back when I was in high school.
The group's been getting big at an incredibly quick rate, with the kind of inflation you can only find when a major label is pumping things up. They have their own show on BET, titled "Blowin' Up: Fatty Koo," appropriately enough. Their debut album "House of Fatty Koo" just dropped in stores, and the lead single "Bounce" has already been getting spins on radio and video. Here's a little taste of their lyrical stylings:
What you hear is a test-a
To get you to move your chest-a
Bounce your body like a seizure
Make you lose all your respa-
-ration ain't no waitin, we came to party and shake it
(Don't stop) The crowd is breakin, pop lockin, swingin, rotatin
People's dancin freakin everywhere
Try my hardest baby not to stare
Movin groovy in your funky shoes
Daddy I love the sexy thangs you do
Show me how you boogaloo
Keep this party jumpin all night (all night)
Play my fatty just the way you like (way you like)
Ooh baby you do it so right
I think your comin with me tonight"
Now on one hand it's probably not fair to knock a group of young aspiring musicians too hard as they are newly signed, being pushed hard by the music industry, and probably not too much in control of what they are doing or being asked to do. On the other hand if they signed contracts, especially in this modern day and age when information about what this industry is like is readily available on and offline, they should have known exactly what they were getting into no matter their age. Even 15 is old enough to think things through. That's more than you can say for the bland, pre-fabricated pop music of songs like "Princess in Disguise" and "Cruise Control" among others. Even making pop music, you ought to at least be able to put some heart, soul and substance into what you do. There's really none to be found here though - no clever lyrics, no beats that sound like they'd inspire anything clever, it's all vapid and meaningless. That's exactly how the music industry likes 'em - unshaped and formless balls of clay they can mold into anything they want. Once that clay hardens though, will any of this group's members be able to break out and establish themselves as a solo artist? Ricky Martin broke out of Menudo, but where are the rest of those kids? Unfortunately for Fatty Koo, all of the talent and ambition that led them to the John Lennon Educational Tour Bus may get chewed up and spit out before most are even old enough to legally buy a beer. Best of luck to Fatty Koo - I'm sure their music appeals to somebody considering their popularity and TV show on BET - but it's just not me.
Music Vibes: 4 of 10 Lyric Vibes: 4 of 10 TOTAL Vibes: 4 of 10
Originally posted: July 19, 2005