A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this music.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that "Atlas" is a song by English rock band Coldplay and is the first single off the The Hunger Games: Catching Fire soundtrack. The melancholic, cinematic track is Coldplay's first new music released in two years. Led by Chris Martin on vocals and piano, the song is wistful commentary about the love shared by the Hunger Games' two lead characters, Katniss and Peeta, and reflects the somber, dystopian world in which they must survive, with references to violence and war. Despite a few words and phrases that vaguely reference weapons and war (including "gun," "bow", "smoke", "explode," and "dragon to slay"), the song is tame enough for older kids. There are also a few religious references in the lyrics about "lord" and "heaven." The accompanying music video, which features the lyrics floating along celestial animated sketches, is kid-safe.
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What's the story?
ATLAS is the first single off the The Hunger Games: Catching Fire soundtrack, which will be released in association with the movie of the same name. The stirring, slow-burning ballad offers a bleak and despondent look at the tribulations the characters face and uses lyrical imagery to paint a picture of the violence and hopelessness of a dystopian world. Amid the fire and smoke of a society stricken by combat, there is also the love and strength that drives the characters' survival and deliverance to a \"heaven\" that is \"just up the road.\"
Is it any good?
With "Atlas," Coldplay delivers more of the lush, piano-driven sound they've brought to stadium-size spectacles over the years. Fans hoping for something different from the band after their two-year break -- or those expecting a fiery first single off the soundtrack -- may be disappointed by the song's bleak and moody atmospherics. However, though "Atlas" lacks much riveting energy, the melancholic mood and war-torn imagery appropriately reflects The Hunger Games' somber setting. Ultimately, Coldplay's dreamy sound, led by Chris Martin's wistful vocals and graceful piano melodies, is a very well-executed, albeit a bit tired, accompaniment to the soundtrack of what will no doubt be one of the biggest movies of the year.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about how the lyrics relate to The Hunger Games and specifically what they tell us about the two main characters, Katniss and Peeta.
Why do you think the song is called "Atlas"? What does that word mean? How does it relate to what The Hunger Games is about?
Parents can talk to kids about the religious nature of some of the lyrics. How does the use of lord and heaven impact the song? How else is imagery used?
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