Free to Stay

Music review by
Kathi Kamen Goldmark, Common Sense Media
Free to Stay Music Poster Image
Indie sisters rock out with innocuous tunes.

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this music.

Positive Messages

Good role models for getting along with siblings and being your own unique creative self.

Violence & Scariness
Sexy Stuff
Language
Consumerism
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that there's no questionable content on this CD, the sophomore outing by two Seattle sisters who, well, aren't even sophomores yet in real life. Messages include being yourself, appreciating your family, and being a good role model.

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What's the story?

The qualities that make Smoosh appealing (music really and truly created by tweens; minimalist instrumentation accomplished without a lot of apparent adult supervision; innocuous and highly repetitive lyrics) are the same ones that make this young Seattle-based duo vaguely annoying as well. Rambling, stream-of-consciousness vocals on FREE TO STAY address youthful concerns with simplistic rhymes (\"I would go every time you say/never saying it's OK/No matter what you say to me/never saying it's alright/No matter what you say to me now/I'm never trying again\") and musicianship that evokes kids let loose in a basement rec room with some pretty fancy toys at their disposal.

Is it any good?

Although the girls have obvious talent, the vocals often veer off into tuneless warbling and the simple drum-keyboard mix gets a bit tedious by the end. The strongest moments are those that make us wonder how many Joni Mitchell and Blondie albums are lying around Asya and Chloe's parents' house. Most important: These young (12 and 14) sisters are having fun expressing their own creative selves.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about why Smoosh's music sounds different from most of the other stuff you hear on the radio. Is it because they have positioned themselves squarely in the "indie music" category, because they are very young songwriters, or both? Do you think you could write and perform songs as well as Asya and Chloe do? Do you think it's more important to make music that fits some predefined rules, or to be yourself?

Music details

  • Artist: Smoosh
  • Release date: June 6, 2006
  • Label: Barsuk
  • Genre: Indie Rock
  • Parental advisory: No
  • Edited version available: No

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