A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this music.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that even though there's a lot of emotional turmoil here, listeners also get a healthy dose of inspiration and motivation. Lewis deals with the weighty issues of loss and unrequited love, but manages to also remind her audience that there's a light at the end of the tunnel. The romantic songs stay very tame, which make the release appropriate for most age groups.
- Parents say
- Kids say
What's the story?
ECHO, the long-awaited follow-up to Lewis's break-out debut hit Spirit, is a bold album full of big vocals, live instrumentals, and more guitar-driven sounds. But the pop style is still firmly in place, and this Simon Cowell protege isn't giving up the dance-floor spotlight just yet. Justin Timberlake is one of many notable producers on the album, along with Cowell and Clive Davis. Covering primarily love-gone-bad scenarios, the album generally stays fast-paced, with thumping beats and enthusiastic back-up choruses.
Is it any good?
Leona Lewis might be having trouble in love on this album, but there's no shortage of songs for listeners to love here. A wonderful combination of pop sensibilities, classical grandeur, and near-perfect vocals, Echo is everything you'd want in a pop collection. Emotions don't get too heavy, but there's still inspirational moments: "Someone once told me you have to choose what you win and lose, you can't have everything, don't take chances, you might feel the pain, don't you love in vain...so what if I break down...'cause I'm just tryin' to be happy, ya." "Happy," "You Don't Care," and "My Hands" are a few of the standouts here. This album solidifies Lewis's status as a diva, in the truest sense of the word.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about maintaining healthy relationships. A few songs describe all-consuming love affairs that make the singer suggest that she can't go on without her love. Have you ever felt like this? Do you think it's a good idea to have perspective when it comes to relationships? Can our emotions sometimes go out of control? Do you see images in the media that promote unhealthy romances?
Leona Lewis is an outspoken advocate for animals and has campaigned against cruelty. Do you think singers should promote causes and voice their opinion on social issues, or should they just stick to entertaining? Do you think Lewis is a good role model? What artists do you admire? Why do you look up to them?
How do you think the American Idol franchise (and its British counterpart, The X Factor) help their winners to succeed? Do you think the winners have an edge over other recording artists because of the marketing power behind them? How much does advertising and public awareness contribute to an artist's popularity?
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