A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this music.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that this album is a mostly upbeat collection of songs that discuss the current state of the world and what people can do to affect change. Many of the songs tell grim stories from a first-person perspective, like a soldier dying. Teens should appreciate the technology references and the timely lyrics.
- Parents say
- Kids say
What's the story?
From Morocco to London, Dublin to New York, U2 toured the globe recording their 12th studio album, NO LINE ON THE HORIZON. All that globetrotting fits in perfectly with the theme of this release. Combining different cultures, varying perspectives, and global settings, U2 has created a CD with universal appeal that urges listeners to "Go, shout it out, rise up." Whether they're singing commands found in a computer dialogue box or telling the story of a dying soldier in Afghanistan, U2 tells the tales behind the evening news soundbites, "squeezing complicated lives into a simple headline," as one lyric describes it. The first single release, "Get on Your Boots," is an energetic call to today's youth to get politically active.
Is it any good?
After 30 years in the rock business, you'd think U2 would be struggling to remain relevant in a music industry powered by the new and novel. Not so. This album seems particularly suited for kids raised in today's technology-laden, news-saturated world. The CD is not a downer about hard times, but rather a pumped-up power album intended to inspire action: "Out from under your beds, C'mon ye people, stand up for your love." While some of the material is too gritty for younger kids, it's OK for teens -- especially politically minded ones -- who are sure to embrace it.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about using first-person narrators in music. Maybe you're dealing with this subject in English class, but how do musicians and songwriters use different characters to narrate songs? Do you think this enables artists to say things they wouldn't say, if they can speak through a character and get away with it? Can you think of some singer/songwriters who regularly use the first-person narrative in a song? Can you trust what the character's lyrics are or might they be biased by the narrator's perspective?