A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this music.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Codes and Keys is a very clean, fairly positive album -- especially for the alt-rock genre, which can tend toward melancholy. The lyrics contain no questionable language or adult references to substances, sex, or violence, revolving instead around keeping perspective on the good people and things in your life. It's a great choice for younger alt-rock fans.
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What's the story?
CODES AND KEYS is the seventh full-length record from Death Cab for Cutie, the alt-rock band that shot to big-name fame when they contributed a song to the The Twilight Saga: New Moon Soundtrack. The album features eleven songs that lack adult language or content like sex, drug and alcohol use, and violence; instead, the clean lyrics center on feel-good things like being in love and continuing to have fun all through your life: "Life is sweet in the belly of the beast / And with her song in your heart it can never bring you down / 'Cause when she sings I hear a symphony / And I'm swallowed in sound as it echoes through me / And I'm moved, oh how I feel alive / And through winters advancing we'll stay young go dancing." The record is a solid option for younger tweens who love alt-rock.
Is it any good?
Codes and Keys has some exceptional moments, such as the piano arrangement backing the band's collective harmonies in the track "Unobstructed Views," and the infectious crescendo in "Portable Television." Overall, the album is another example of why this alt-rock band is becoming more mainstream.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about how bands like Death Cab for Cutie can be so popular -- they were chosen to contribute a song to the The Twilight Saga: New Moon Soundtrack -- and still keep their music free of mature content. What qualities of their songs do you think have brought them success?
Which other bands do you think could learn good lessons from Death Cab? What lessons might they learn?
For kids who love alt-rock
Our editors recommend
Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.