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 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.
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?