Raise the Dead

Music review by
Conny Coon, Common Sense Media
Raise the Dead Music Poster Image
Grand garage rock that's dark and dramatic.

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A lot or a little?

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

Positive Messages

Citing Jim Jones, Charles Manson, and David Koresh as musical influences for this album, the band raises instant red flags, though the lyrical references to any of these cult leaders are quite vague. Some dark and depressed lyrics along with several references to death or dying.


Several macabre references such as "That boy survived a severed head" and "Your friends will scream in horror/when they find you hanged by a phone cord." The song "Geronimo" has particularly violent lyrics that seems to marry fighting with sex and includes lines such as "I know soon we'll be trading blows/hitting on floors and tearing off clothes" and "I can't stop thinking of pummeling you for another full minute or two."


The sexual references are few, but frequently laced with violent imagery. In "Demon Daughters," the subjects of the song are repeatedly referred to as "hot and bothered."


You won't find much foul language aside from one instance each of "f--ked" and "bastard."

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

A passing reference: "Brine is finer than wine/but don't drink too much" and a metaphorical reference to party chasers looking like "theater seats around an open bar."

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that this band first found mainstream success via the popular TV show The O.C. where its catchy tune "California" is the theme song. Compared to previous releases, this album is a lot less light pop and much deeper, darker fare. And while there is some questionable imagery and several dubious sexual references, those sometimes take a backseat to the dramatic beat and theatrical vocals.

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Teen, 13 years old Written bystrawbryblondy April 9, 2008

their sound!

i love the way they sing... i dont know its different because they sound like they are singing with a british accent, but they arent. and do the panic is a grea... Continue reading

What's the story?

There's some seriously big sound coming from the boys in Phantom Planet. RAISE THE DEAD is their self-described "concept album," and listening to it is like a trip down a musical memory lane. From Bowie to Bauhaus to Beck, you'll hear small snippets -- a bass line here, a passionate shriek there -- that you swear you've heard before.

Is it any good?

Though Phantom Planet claims the album was influenced by cult leaders such as Charles Manson and David Koresh, the bleak references are limited and vague and will soar high over the heads of younger fans. Alternately somber and lively, even the darkest lyrics seem tame when they're accompanied by an upbeat chorus or vibrant vocals. And that's a good thing because unless you're following along with the liner notes, it's virtually impossible to discern the lyrics and identify what's offensive.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about how bands grow and evolve throughout their careers and how they find new ways to keep their music interesting and their listeners interested. Do you think it's important that bands constantly change their sound or do you expect and want a band to produce albums that sound similar to one another?

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