Most Walmart employees lack a living wage or healthcare benefits, but the company does have an “associate choir” with an ironic, multi-platform Internet fan base, so that must certainly count for something. Some background information: In 2013, a group of Walmart employees billed as the Walmart Associate Choir released a choral album entitled Eyes Of A Child to benefit Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals. After landing in the $5 bin, a copy of said album wound up in the hands of a delighted Tumblr user who then created an online tribute with alternate album covers and remix videos. In its article on the phenomenon, The Daily Dot also notes sightings of the Walmart Associate Choir on Twitter and Reddit. Typical of the meme is this mashup cover, which resembles Kanye West’s My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy.
The album itself can be heard below. As The Daily Dot points out, the 38-minute LP is, despite its liberal use of synthesizers, not egregiously bad. Eyes Of A Child has a strong gospel feel, defying those who expected Walmart’s vocal ensemble to follow the stodgy lead of the Mormon Tabernacle Choir. The prevailing mood, meanwhile, is one of hard-earned optimism. Those desiring an album which conveys the crushing despair of working retail are referred to Alan Lomax’s classic field recording, Prison Blues Of The South.