A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this music.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that although Allison Iraheta steers clear of adult content and graphic language, her album incorporates some troubling messages about being unable to break free of bad relationships. For example, in "Beat Me Up" she claims to still love a guy even though he doesn't treat her well.
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What's the story?
L.A. singer Allison Iraheta is the latest in a long line of American Idol contestants who failed to reach the top spot (she came in fourth in Season 8) but scored a record deal nevertheless. JUST LIKE YOU is Iraheta's debut record, containing twelve songs that are largely free of graphic content. The tunes avoid mature topics like sex, drinking, and drugs, focusing instead on the nuts and bolts of romantic relationships. While the content is mostly clean, the messages are mixed. In songs like "Don't Waste the Pretty," Iraheta shows her no-nonsense, self-respecting side, advising girls not to "waste the pretty" on guys who treat them badly. Yet in other tracks, such as "Beat Me Up," Iraheta keeps going back to a boy who wrongs her, claiming "Baby even though you beat me up / I still love you 'cause you heat me up / And that’s why every time you hit me up / I come running 'cause you fix me up."
Is it any good?
After covering tunes from the likes of such hardcore rockers as Janis Joplin and Heart, you'd expect that the singer's first record would fall solidly in the rock camp. Not the case: from the first track, the album exudes a pop sensibility that takes the luster off of Iraheta's rock persona. Unfortunately, that persona is part of what made her music appealing; without it, this record sounds a lot like albums from many other young, pop-oriented singers like Demi Lovato and even Kelly Clarkson.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about the conflicting messages espoused by Iraheta on the album. Why does she use some songs to discuss independence and self-respect, and others to describe how she's too weak to end a dysfunctional relationship?
Do you think Iraheta would be famous if it wasn't for American Idol?