A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this music.
What parents need to know
What's the story?
There's no doubt that the young contestants on American Idol are talented. There's also no doubt that these vibrant performers deserve to be working with some material that lets them express their unique personalities. On AMERICAN IDOL SEASON 2: ALL-TIME CLASSIC AMERICAN LOVE SONGS, a few of the singers breathe new life into their songs (Julia Demato's jaunty interpretation of Etta James' soulful "At Last" is refreshing, as is Trenyce's spirited take on Al Green's "Let's Stay Together"), but most play it safe and stick with tried-and-true arrangements. For example, Ruben Stoddard's rendition of "Superstar" impressively showcases his velvety voice, but doesn't allow his lovable personality that inspired millions to vote him the second American Idol to shine through.
Is it any good?
Unless your kids are diehard fans of the TV show, it's unlikely that they'll voluntarily sit through schmaltzy ballads and Muzak favorites such as "Open Arms," "Three Times a Lady" and "On the Wings of Love." Also, for an album of love songs, there are some odd choices. "Over the Rainbow" isn't a particularly romantic song, nor is the bonus track of "God Bless the U.S.A. (Proud to Be an American)." Bottom line: American Idol addicts will enjoy the CD, but there's not much for everyone else.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about what it means to be an idol. Ask your kids what goes into becoming a "superstar" or being "discovered." It's a common fantasy that sometimes needs a reality check. Also, many of the songs are covers of original classics -- this might be a great way for you to introduce your kids to the music you know and love.