A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this music.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Boys Like Girls is a perfectly palatable indie pop rock band who showcased their music on the Internet -- and landed a record deal. The album's lyrics are mostly tame and touch on the typical tribulations teens face, from relationships to breakups to jealousy. Parents should be aware that the title song -- which opens the album -- does say: "Let's get drunk and ride around," and "Dance Hall Drug" talks about losing your virginity too soon (and some even say it's about drugging a girl in order to have sex with her).
- Parents say
- Kids say
What's the story?
On the self-titled BOYS LIKE GIRLS, the band has polished up their act. Of course, prior to this, their "act" was essentially two roughly recorded demo tracks made available on the Internet. Buzz for the band built quickly, leading to a recording gig in less than a year. Their debut album is a polished piece of pop rock that is pleasant, slick, and well produced, but the songs feel familiar, reminiscent of Jimmy Eat World -- without the edge. For all its polish, the band's lyrics are surprisingly sugary and simple, occasionally verging on immature.
Is it any good?
It's refreshing to hear this band sing of girls with adoration and respect. There's no name calling or rage. Sure there's the requisite heartache and pain, with some bitterness and jealousy thrown in, but these are feelings teens can relate to. Plus, there are some hopeful words of advice and wisdom to extract. This band definitely has talent -- and possibly a big future -- and there's plenty to enjoy here. You won't find a single bad track on this album, but you shouldn't expect to find real brilliance either.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about the risks of underage drinking as well as the dangers kids face when they try to grow up too fast -- a theme the band touches on in "Dance Hall Drug." What motivates kids to want to grow up so quickly? What do they leave behind and miss out on when they do? Why is it important for kids to mature before they do more grown-up things? What are some signs of mature decision making?