A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this music.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Recess, the debut full-length album from EDM superstar Skrillex, is an aggressive and at-times explicit party record filled with speaker-busting compositions intended to get people dancing and going crazy. While it retains some of the positivity of dance/pop music, there is also a rough and grimy energy pulsing through the lyrics and beats. There is some language to watch out for, including a song called "F--k That," two songs have sexual content, and one track references a machine guns and violence on the streets.
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What's the story?
Initially released via a mysterious downloadable app that let fans stream the tracks one by one a week before the official release, RECESS is the debut full-length from L.A.-based DJ/producer Skrillex, one of electronic dance music's brightest stars. After surging to mainstream dominance on the strength of several EPs and singles that redefined the EDM scene and transformed dubstep from a small sub-genre into a full-blown movement in the U.S., Skrillex has crafted a club-ready collection of fierce and propulsive tracks that express his love and mastery of machines and electronic soundscapes.
Is it any good?
When Skrillex first appeared on the radar in the early 2010's, his signature style of heavily-processed and screeching synths and basslines was jarring and revolutionary. A few years later, his influence in mainstream pop music is evident simply by turning on the radio, and as a result, Recess feels less like a revolution and more like a cohesive statement of his vision. Fans of EDM and loud, exciting electronic music will certainly find a lot to enjoy with this record, and even those who previously thought they weren't interested in dubstep or Skrillex may also be able to appreciate the energy and technical ability of this producer who clearly has his finger on the pulse of the scene. There are no profound lyrics or great artistic leaps taken, but this is a fun collection guaranteed to blow out your speaker system if you turn it up loud enough, which is, of course, the goal.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about the evolution of dance and pop music. How has EDM changed since the early days of underground raves and mainstream irrelevance? How has the growth of giant electronic festivals affected the musical landscape?
Why do you think Skrillex -- one of the most commercially successful EDM artists with mainstream popularity -- chose to release an explicit album that features rappers as prominently as his signature explosive synthesizers and dubstep drops?
There's a clear Jamaican dancehall influence present in many of the tracks on this album, similar to collaborator Diplo's Major Lazer project. What is the connection between contemporary EDM and the reggae/dub tradition that developed in the Caribbean?