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A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this music.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that the songs on this album are mostly about being young, in love, and let down in love. There's a mix of joy and despair, but even the more angst-ridden songs have an empowering message and put the pain of breaking up or being overlooked by boys in perspective. The lyrics generally kid-appropriate, though one song does allude to virginity loss.
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What's the story?
FEARLESS is like a soundtrack to the emotional roller coaster commonly known as high school. Songs deal with liking someone so much that you can't breathe when they're not there ("Breathe"), the frustration of knowing that you're better for a guy than the girl he's with ("You Belong with Me"), the pain of a 15-year-old broken heart ("Fifteen"), the exciting rush of a first date ("Fearless"), and the disappointments of dating a jerk ("Tell Me Why," "You're Not Sorry"). There's also a heartfelt song about a mother-daughter relationship ("The Best Day") that's bound to bring a tear to any parent's eyes.
Is it any good?
Even the biggest cynic will find it hard not to see the good in this album. Swift manages to cover "boy-crazy" themes in a way that has broad appeal, even to those who aren't teens. Her lyrics, while simple, are honest and genuine, and they show insight and maturity. On the track "Fifteen," Taylor sings "But in your life you'll do things greater than dating the boy on the football team." And you can't help but wonder how much easier high school would have been if you'd known the things you learned about life -- and yourself -- a little later on.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about Taylor Swift's enormous success and widespread appeal. Do you think she's popular because her music speaks to more than just country fans? Which of the songs on this album can you relate to the most? Many of the songs seem very personal. How do you think it would feel to have your private life in the spotlight, as many celebrities do?