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 lyrics on this American Idol winner's album are fine for any age. Most of the songs are about love, longing, and heartache -- emotions that many tweens and teens haven't fully experienced yet, so they may not be able to relate to all the songs. For the most part, the CD offers decent, danceable music from a talented singer.
What's the story?
It's always impressive to hear a teenager belt out a song with as much control and clarity as American Idol winner Jordin Sparks displays on her self-titled first CD, JORDIN SPARKS. Aside from the Idol-finale single "This Is My Now," the lovely, reflective "God Loves Ugly," and a particularly compelling duet with Chris Brown ("No Air"), many of the songs sound the same, and it seems producers of teen music these days can't help infusing it with a light techno sound -- a couple more ballads without that tinny echo and overbearing electronic beat would have been nice to let Jordin's amazing voice shine through.
Is it any good?
Much of the album has an energetic, upbeat feel, with a number of songs about love, longing, and heartache -- something Jordin probably hasn't fully experienced, and even her powerful, mature-sounding voice can't cover up that fact. But she does delve into her limited emotional range and gives it all she's got. Younger generations will eat it up, and tween and teen Idol fans hungering to hear Jordin tackle more contemporary stuff than what she sang on the show won't be disappointed. Best of all, given her age, there's promise for much, much more in terms of emotional depth, range, and artistry.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about what it takes for a teen to balance a demanding music career with other parts of her life such as family and school. Did you watch American Idol? How do you think the experience of winning Idol would change a teen's life, and how do you think you would handle such an experience if you were in Jordin's place? Families can also talk about the theme of the songs, such as love and heartache -- can you relate to what Jordin is singing about? Do you feel you've experienced the emotions she talks about in the songs? Do you feel she does a good job of conveying those emotions?