Love IS

Music review by
Stephanie Bruzzese, Common Sense Media
Love IS Music Poster Image
Idol's "Velvet Teddy Bear" offers clean, gospel-tinged CD.

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

Positive Messages
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Studdard keeps it clean on this album: while his major theme is romantic relationships, he doesn't get graphic with sexual descriptions or delve into super-serious topics that are too mature for young ears.

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What's the story?

The "Velvet Teddy Bear" of American Idol's season 2, Ruben Studdard is back with his fourth album titled LOVE IS. The record is a compilation of covers and original songs, with Studdard singing older and newer classics like the Beatles' "The Long and Winding Road" and Extreme's "More Than Words," as well as new tunes including the first cut off the album called "Together." The CD shows he's grown up quite a bit since his Idol days, marrying his wife Surata, cutting music with gospel overtones, and becoming a believer in a mature love that lasts through ups and downs: "And though we both made our mistakes / And some we wish we never made / …I'm gonna be the love that's gonna last / And be the one that got your back / Ain't nothing that bad, that we would be together."

Is it any good?

The nice thing about music from any of the American Idols is that you're almost guaranteed a good vocal performance. Studdard doesn't disappoint on this front, delivering his lyrics in his trademark smooth voice that's somewhat reminsicent of the R&B giant, Luther Vandross. While the sticky sweet lyrics themselves are somewhat cliché, they lack any of the offensive themes found in so many of today's songs that revolve around romantic relationships.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about whether a specific personality type makes a better American Idol. For example, season 1 winner Kelly Clarkson is much different than season 2 winner Studdard, who is world's away from the newest season 8 winner, Kris Allen. Are Clarkson's, Studdard's, or Allen's personalities the best recipes for success, and why?

Music details

  • Artist: Ruben Studdard
  • Release date: May 19, 2009
  • Label: Hickory Records
  • Genre: R&B
  • Parental advisory: No
  • Edited version available: No
  • Last updated: July 15, 2015

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