Recess

Common Sense Media says

Dubstep's biggest star drops ear-splitting, explicit record.

Age(i)

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Quality(i)

 

What parents need to know

Positive messages

Most of the lyrics are either intentionally vague or hedonistic and all about partying.

Positive role models

There is a certain positive energy associated with the EDM scene, since it's all about dancing and having fun, but Skrillex is definitely on the edgier end of the spectrum, preferring shock and awe beat drops to pop-friendly lyrics and euphoric melody builds.

Violence

Aside from the violent synth stabs and bass drops. there's also an aggressive energy present in many of the vocals, particularly on tracks like "F---k That"; there is also a reference to "mac-10" submachine guns in the dancehall-esque "All Is Fair In Love & Brostep," which features verses from The Ragga Twins that reference war on the streets. 

Sex

While much of the album steers clear of sexual content, there are tracks with lewd lyrics, like in "Dirty Vibe" in which the rapper CL references "strip clubs" and boasts "I'm yo girl's lesbian crush," or in "Coast Is Clear," which repeatedly asks the question "Do you wanna f--k?"

Language

There's a fair amount of bad language in these dance tracks, including the words "f--k," "motherf----r," "bitches," and "ass."  

Consumerism

Recess was a surprise releases, available initially through a mysterious free app. As Skrillex's first full-length album, he could have hyped Recess for months but chose to counter the crush of publicity and initial commodification by releasing to zero fanfare and offering first listens for free.

Drinking, drugs, & smoking

One reference to "beers," another to being "turnt up" (drunk and/or high), and one lyric that says "I don't pop Molly, I rock microphones," which could actually be interpreted as being anti-drug (Molly is a nickname for MDMA or ecstasy).

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.

Parents say

Kids say

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?

QUALITY
 

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.

Families can talk 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? 

Music details

Artist:Skrillex
Release date:March 14, 2014
Type:Album
Label:OWSLA
Genre:Dance/pop
Parental advisory:Yes
Edited version available:No

This review of Recess was written by

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  • ON: Content is age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • PAUSE: Know your child; some content may not be right for some kids.
  • OFF: Not age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • NOT FOR KIDS: Not appropriate for kids of any age.

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Quality

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Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging; great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging; good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging; good learning approach.
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  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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What parents and kids say

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Teen, 14 years old Written bySuddenImpact April 3, 2014
AGE
2
QUALITY
 

Skrillex is Junk

Kids should start listening to real music made by people with instruments and real talent. Music nowadays, (especially dubstep), has no quality. Listen to some classic artists like Led Zeppelin, The Who, Jimi Hendrix, Arlo Guthrie, Bob Dylan, The Beatles, Rush, AC/DC, The Rolling Stones, The Grateful Dead, Billy Joel, Elton John, Pink Floyd, Def Leppard, etc.
Kid, 9 years old May 8, 2014
AGE
11
QUALITY
 

Really liked it. Really, really, really liked it.

OK, SKRILLEX MIGHT BE THE BEST DJ THAT EVER LIVED! And besides that fact that when this comes up on iTunes, the first thing you see are the words "F*** That"... you might think the same. Recess focuses a lot on good lyrics too, but in the end, it doesn't hold back from the crazy beats everyone loves! I'm serious that when I first heard this album, my jaw dropped for about 2 minutes. It was amazing, so here's my song review: All Is Fair In Love And Brostep: Bad news is it's just like Zomboy's "Terror Squad". Good news is that I love "Terror Squad". 4 stars Recess: My favorite song. Literally. 5 stars Stranger: Good enough lyrics for "Divergent". 4 stars Try It Out: Not much different from the EP version. 4 and a half stars Coast Is Clear: More catchy than overall enjoyable. 3 stars Dirty Vibe: The rappers ruined Skrillex. It should have been solo. 3 and a half stars Ragga Bomb: The Ragga Twins make no sense. 4 stars Ease My Mind: The light at the end of Recess' tunnel. 5 stars F*** That: Eh... 3 stars Fire Away: Not a great way to finish off. 3 stars I would recommend MOST of the songs on the album, so happy listening!
What other families should know
Too much swearing
Teen, 14 years old Written byOpti101 July 31, 2014
AGE
15
QUALITY
 

Like EDM? You'll love this.

Swearing and Violence referenced. A nice, varied selection of songs. There is a song called 'F--k That' that constantly repeats it's own title.
What other families should know
Too much violence
Too much swearing

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