A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this music.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Rock Band 2 features this 1988 album, which deals with some very dark subject matter, including sexualized violence, child abuse, and drug addiction (which has plagued band members over the years). Although a lot of the lyrics get buried beneath the music, the chant "sex is violent" is repeated many times in the "Ted, Just Admit It," which also includes an audio clip of serial killer Ted Bundy. The album has some profanity, but it's not excessive by today's standards.
What's the story?
Before Perry Farrell launched the wildly popular musical festival Lollapalooza, and way before Dave Navarro became a Red Hot Chili Pepper and Rock Star: Supernova judge, the singer and guitarist joined forces in the Los Angeles rock-metal band Jane's Addiction. Often considered one of the first "alternative" bands, Jane's made their major-label debut in 1988 with NOTHING'S SHOCKING, predating the grunge explosion of the early '90s by several years. Now, fans can find the classic -- albeit dark -- album featured in its entirety on Rock Band 2.
Is it any good?
Listeners who only know Nothing's Shocking by "Jane Says" might be a bit surprised by the album's heaviness. Sure, the song is about a heroin addict, but with the steel drums and acoustic guitar strumming, it's downright pretty. So is the sing-songy "Summertime Rolls," which has happy lyrics, to boot. But the twisted vocals, wailing guitars, and pounding rhythms the band is known for are in full force on tracks like "Had a Dad" and "Mountain Song." Like the film Natural Born Killers -- which featured the album's "Ted, Just Admit It" -- some may see Nothing's Shocking as an indictment of the media's obsession with sex and violence, while others will see the sex and violence, but not the critique. But musically, there's little debate that the album is innovative and influential.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about the disturbing topics that this album addresses, and whether teens think the band is speaking out against sex, drugs, and violence -- or celebrating them. Families can also discuss whether teens find some sort of comfort in dark music and lyrics, or if it makes them feel angry or depressed.
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