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Summer '94: Tough Critics On Ace Of Base

Unvarnished reviews from three New York City grade schoolers.

Monday, July 28, 2014 - 08:00 AM

Zach, Zoe and Marlowe from New York's Little Red School House weigh in on pop songs as part of Soundcheck's Tough Critics series. Zach, Zoe and Marlowe from New York's Little Red School House look like Tough Critics. (Haley Shaw / WNYC)

Ace Of Base's 'The Sign.'

All summer, Soundcheck has been looking back 20 years to the hit songs, defining albums, and pop culture of 1994. We've heard from a variety of musicians, writers and cultural critics who were there at the time, or grew up in the '90s and have a special place in their heart for the sounds of time. But what about those who weren't even born then? What about those who weren't even born ten years ago, let alone 20? Would they even like a pop song from '94?

We decided to return to New York's Little Red School House to see what a trio of particularly precocious grade schoolers think. In this edition of Soundcheck's series Tough Critics, Zach, Zoe and Marlowe listen to and pick apart one of the most popular, most infectious and ubiquitous songs playing on the radio back then: "The Sign" by Swedish group Ace Of Base.


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Comments [7]


The majority of us lack an ear for music. These kids, sadly, are in that majority.

Jul. 31 2015 03:20 AM
Silvia from The Bronx, NY

Wow. Hire these three to replace American Idol and The Voice hosts. I'd rather watch these kids.

Jul. 31 2014 12:01 AM
djmcboarder from Manhattan

This is great, I'd love to see more kid reviews of music. Especially if they are an "artist".
It's obvious that the girl's reaction is somewhat (initially at least) dependent on the others reactions. Perhaps that will change in time and she will grow confident in her own opinion.

Jul. 30 2014 02:09 PM
Isaac from New York

"when an effect just comes out and you overuse it" spot on kids!

Jul. 30 2014 10:32 AM
Jim Meskauskas from Manhattan

Cute kids. And an interesting experiment in looking at the past through the lens of the present: things like autotune and dubstepping, which weren't a factor then, being used as judgeable criteria tells us more about how humans see things than it does about a thing -- in this case a catchy tune from a Scandinavian band -- itself.

Jul. 30 2014 07:54 AM

We love you Zoe!

Jul. 29 2014 06:33 PM
Sandra from New Rochelle, NY

I love these kids, they're hilarious.

Jul. 29 2014 05:22 PM

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