A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this music.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Midnight Memories, an album from teeny-bopper sensation One Direction, is still clean and tween-friendly but with a heavy dose of lust and desire ("We're better off together in our bed" and "If you give in tonight, just let me set you free / We'll touch the other side -- just give me the key"). Presumably, younger kids won't get the innuendos and insinuations, but the sexuality is thinly veiled on this extremely poppy record.
- Parents say
- Kids say
What's the story?
MIDNIGHT MEMORIES is the third studio album released by British boy band One Direction, who have maintained their status as kings of the charts. Building on the enormous success of their previous albums, Midnight Memories is filled with a variety of squeaky-clean styles ranging from pop-punk to rock ballad to electro-pop party anthem. Some of the boys are credited with cowrites on some of the songs, but the album as a whole was essentially constructed and created by superproducers and studio musicians.
Is it any good?
Nobody listens to boy bands for their lyrical depth, but many of these tracks do feel particularly derivative and uninteresting. The constant lines about staying with a girl all night and whispering things into her ear "that I can't repeat" might make some parents uneasy, but it's nothing edgier than what John Lennon was singing to teenagers in his day. There's a solid energy and upbeat vibe throughout the record, but, after 18 tracks, it sort of all blends together. The singing is excellent, though it's practically impossible to distinguish the voices from one another. Then again, that's not the point. Fans of 1-D ("Directioners," as they call themselves) likely will fall in love all over again with the handsome heartthrobs, and the songs are just catchy enough to serve their purpose.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about the phenomenon of boy bands. What makes the formula work so well? How does it play into the daydreams and fantasies of preteen girls?
Why do you think One Direction has been able to maintain their enormous and devoted fanbase for so long, while many other pop stars of their ilk have seen their star fade rapidly?
What do you think is the best sound for the 1-D boys: their acoustic ballads, their electro-pop tracks, or their more classic, rock-style songs?