Selena Gomez's New Album: Why You Shouldn't Judge Your Kids' Music

This morning I asked myself: If I were a 12 to 15-year-old girl, would I be running out to buy Wizards of Waverly Place star Selena Gomez’s solo CD “Kiss and Tell”? The album, which was released on Tuesday, is actually from the band Selena Gomez & The Scene. (No offense, but it might as well be Selena Gomez & The Scenery.)

When I was a teenager, way before Nickelodeon found its groove, musical stars and media stars were, for the most part, two separate classes of people. Where there was talent crossover—say, Donny & Marie, or Shaun Cassidy on The Hardy Boys—it traveled in one direction: from music to TV. (Don’t kid yourself into thinking The Brady Bunch was ever a legitimate band—it wasn’t.)

Plus, most of the musical stars of the ’80s were grown-ups, not recent Mickey Mouse Club alumni. The first album I ever bought with my own money was from the Australian band Men at Work, whose lead singer was anything but a teenager, much less camera-friendly. Even Michael Jackson was a grown man by then (biologically-speaking), a has-been age by today’s pop musical standards.

Nowadays, if you have a hit show or movie (and in some cases, a purity ring), you naturally put out an album. Selena, Miranda, Vanessa, and Ashley have all done it. So did Lindsay and Jennifer Love. And why not? Miley Cyrus sets the singing talent bar so ridiculously low (Have you listened really hard to “The Climb”?), and shows like American Idol train youth to accept mediocre talent as the real thing anyway.

Of course if I actually liked the pop music preferred by my kids’ generation I wouldn’t be a card-carrying parent. So in the spirit of giving kids their due, I offer obligatory congratulations to Miss Gomez, whether or not I would have bought her album myself.

As far as The Scene—call your agents and get your own show, pronto.

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