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Good Girl Gone Bad
A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this music.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that this album's lyrics contain a lot of playful sexual innuendo ("Got all the drive but a whole lot of boom in the back/You look like you can handle what's under my hood") that might go over younger kids' heads. There's also some provocative content on the subject of handling anger and control issues in relationships in songs like "Breaking Dishes." Several brand names are mentioned too.
- Parents say
- Kids say
What's the story?
In one sparkling, danceable track after another, Rihanna explores many aspects of love and relationships on GOOD GIRL GONE BAD. As a young woman coming into adulthood, the artist celebrates her own sexual power on songs like \"Push Up on Me\" (\"Let's play a game, I won't be a tease/I'll show you the boom, my sexy little thing\"). She finds a creative outlet for expressing anger at a cheating lover (\"I'm breaking dishes/up in here all night…I ain't gonna stop until I see the police lights\" on \"Breaking Dishes\"); and she stands up for the power of open, honest communication on \"Say It\" (\"Emotions running wild/I could feel it when I'm next to you/Something's on your mind…blow your secret open wide\").
Is it any good?
The songwriting is predictable and mostly ho-hum. Messages are all over the road, with two parts codependency to one part self-esteem at every turn. But it's the loving production and hypnotic rhythm tracks that make this "good girl gone bad shine." Girls and young women negotiating the ups and downs of relationships will find a lot to love, anyway.
Vocally, Rihanna is most successful on the upbeat, danceable tracks, where her sassy spirit (and generously applied digital effects) help beef things up. Her voice is maturing, but still a little weak and thin for emotive ballads.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about Rihanna's maturing image. She's no longer a kid, and her song lyrics reflect her development as an artist. What does a song like "Breaking Dishes" say to you? How do you handle your anger when you have a fight with someone you love? Is breaking something (like dishes) a better outlet than starting a physical fight? Are there other solutions that might be more effective?