Teenage angst set to a rock beat.

What parents need to know

Positive messages

Parents may be uneasy about the dark imagery in some of these lyrics.


A lot of violent imagery -- the word "suicide" appears over and over again.


Some mild innuendo, but nothing explicit.


No actual expletives.

Not applicable
Drinking, drugs, & smoking

Some drug references.

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that there are some references to violence, drugs, and physical abuse in the screaming, emotional -- yet somehow perky -- vocals.

What's the story?

It seems like it would be really hard to scream your guts out on songs about angst- and drug-filled life-changing moments and still sound perky. But AFI manages to do just that on DECEMBERUNDERGROUND. AFI stands for \"A Fire Inside,\" and lead singer David Havok's vocals ignite the group with a raw, burning energy. This guy sounds like he believes every word he sings, whether screeching over searing guitars and powerful bass and drums, or toning it down (just a bit) on \"The Interview.\" Jade Puget (guitar), Adam Carson (drums), and Hunter (bass) provide an impeccable music bed for the powerful vocals.

Is it any good?


Notably diverse, the songs on this CD are all performed with a heavy-handed backbeat and full-tilt enthusiasm; the arrangements stay interesting through a dozen well-performed tracks. Some parents might be uncomfortable about certain lyrics; references are made to drugs and violence, and the word "suicide" shows up over and over again, setting a mood of nihilistic intensity. But there's also poetic imagery in lines like "City lights, like rain, dance and explode/Fall upon debutantes" ("Kiss and Control"). Though some of the lyrics explore the darker side of life, love, and pain, the perfectionism in AFI's production and the care taken on every track give away the fact that these guys actually really care.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about the raw energy in these songs. How does AFI pull it off? What are the musical ingredients of an energetic sound?

Music details

Release date:June 6, 2006
Label:Interscope Records
Parental advisory:No
Edited version available:No

This review of Decemberunderground was written by

Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are conducted by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.


Our star rating assesses the media's overall quality.

Find out more

Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging; great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging; good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging; good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging; OK learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

Find out more

About our buy links

When you use our links to make a purchase, Common Sense Media earns a small affiliate fee from Amazon or iTunes. As a nonprofit organization, these funds help us continue providing independent, ad-free services for educators, families, and kids while the price you pay remains the same. Thank you for your support.
Read more

See more about how we rate and review.

About Our Rating System

The age displayed for each title is the minimum one for which it's developmentally appropriate. We recently updated all of our reviews to show only this age, rather than the multi-color "slider." Get more information about our ratings.

What parents and kids say

See all user reviews

Share your thoughts with other parents and kids Write a user review

A safe community is important to us. Please observe our guidelines

Parent of a 12 year old Written byafiforever13 February 3, 2011

What what is this I don't even about 15+ as "iffy"

I don't understand why you say that the drug references are bad in this album, Davey Havok (because that is his real STAGE NAME) is straight-edge, that means total absence from drugs or alcohol, so any drug references will give a message of "DON'T DO IT" also, he never did any drugs so how can he write about a song that he can never relate to? And of course they care about this stuff, or the wouldn't writing about it. They "pull it off" because they used to be punk, punk music is very lively and fulled with energy, with that in mind, there's no doubt that they'll keep the liveliness with them. In many interveiws, AFI have said that some fans approch them and say that listening to their music has saved their LIVES! Many of them became straight-edge too. So if your children listen to this type of music but from band that aren't so great, show them AFI.
What other families should know
Great messages
Teen, 16 years old Written bycaptianspiffy June 19, 2012

error 404

The band is Straight edge, witch means there against the use of drugs or alcohol.
What other families should know
Great messages
Great role models
Parent of a 12 year old Written by301TheAmazingSo... April 3, 2011

Great alternative/punk music.

I've been a fan of AFI, since their first album came out, and this was no dissapointment. All the suicide/drug references are with a poetic license. Wonderful music that some kids can relate to.


Did our review help you make an informed decision about this product?

Digital Compass