Justin Guarini

Music review by
Cynthea Riesenberg, Common Sense Media
Justin Guarini Music Poster Image
An uneven, uninspired offering.

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A lot or a little?

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

Positive Messages

In "I Saw Your Face," Guarini longs to take up with a girl solely because of her looks, calling them "a miracle."

Violence

The most violent image is of the emotional harm caused by lies and deceit.

Sex

Although some tracks extol romance, others, like "Inner Child," crassly declaim, "You got me in the mood/ So come and make your move/ ...Baby, get ready, I'm coming into you."

Language

The album earns this rating, not so much for the occasional "damn," but for concepts like two-timing boyfriends, deceitful girlfriends, and sexual references.

Consumerism

The album does not deal with popular labels or consumer products.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

There are no obvious references to drugs or alcohol.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that although the album contains no parental advisory label, tracks like "I Saw Your Face" and "Inner Child" leave romance behind and suggest relationships are based entirely on physical attraction or sex.

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What's the story?

Runner-up to Kelly Clarkson on American Idol, Justin Guarini dazzled some listeners with his smooth phrasings and cheeky grin, while boring others with slick ballads and warmed-over sentiment. In an effort to win new fans, Guarini includes some hip-hop-inflected R&B and pop in this self-titled album. While these songs hint at a talent still under construction, the overall uneven results probably will appeal only to his most loyal followers.

Is it any good?

Tracks include "Get Here," made familiar by repeated performances on American Idol, the staccato "Sorry," and the vocally challenging "Unchained Melody," in which adroit mixing masks notes held not quite long enough. "I Saw Your Face" contains the distasteful lyrics, "I saw your legs, your thighs/ ...I can't believe my eyes/ ...You're so damn beautiful." The album's high point is its finale, the duet "Timeless," in which Guarini's voice blends amiably with Clarkson's and they sing with a breathy urgency.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about marketing new singers. Do you think Justin Guarini would find an audience for this album if he hadn't found success on American Idol?

Music details

  • Artist: Justin Guarini
  • Release date: June 10, 2003
  • Label: RCA
  • Genre: Pop
  • Parental advisory: No
  • Edited version available: No

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