A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this music.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Elliott Yamin delivers family-safe, very well-performed, nice-guy R&B that is both lyrically innocuous and musically interesting. There's something here for everyone in the family except, perhaps, those who avoid American Idol finalists on principle.
What's the story?
On the self-titled ELLIOTT YAMIN album, Yamin blasts out of the gate with all the sincerity and soul that got him to third place on American Idol. The CD is filled with danceable, charming, and incredibly well-performed songs. Just as inspiring is Yamin's story. As a shy pre-teen, Yamin couldn't find the courage to open his mouth in choir (or so the story goes) and lip-synched his parts. By the time he got out of high school, he'd experienced the physical challenges of partial deafness and a diabetes diagnosis. So when twenty-something Yamin auditioned for American Idol on a whim, he barely dared to hope that the adventure could change his life. The rest, as they say, is history.
Is it any good?
The lyrical territory is nothing new (boy meets girl, boy loves girl, boy loses girl, boy maybe gets girl back) and the songs are not spectacularly written, but Yamin's singing is exceptional and consistently supported by appropriate, soulful instrumentals produced with loving care. You can enjoy this CD because of the great singing and the respectful (if not fabulously original) instrumental arrangements. And you can share the CD because it covers lyrical territory that is absolutely tween-and-family safe. But many will love it not just for these reasons, but for the message of hope and inspiration that comes from the talented young Yamin.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about Elliott Yamin's personal story. This powerhouse singer was so shy in middle school that he lip-synched his way through choir. He's also dealt with partial deafness and the challenge of Type 1 diabetes. How can music help someone get through hard times? How has it helped you face challenges or inspire you?