Road Trip

Music review by
Kathi Kamen Goldmark, Common Sense Media
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Perfect soundtrack for a second-grade party.

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A lot or a little?

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

Positive Messages

Lots of friendship-affirming girl power.

Violence & Scariness
Sexy Stuff
Language
Consumerism
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Girl Authority's second album is filled with the same blend of popular cover tunes ("We Are Family," "Car Wash," and "Vacation") along with a few spunky originals as on the group's first CD. The nine tween singers with distinct personalities give us absolutely no offensive content, but the chirpy vocals may make parents' and older siblings' teeth itch by the second or third track. There's also a charming "behind the scenes" DVD included in the package.

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What's the story?

What sounded like a fresh, cool idea the first time around feels a little less fresh and cool on ROAD TRIP, the sophomore outing by nine young theatre-camp pals from Boston. Perhaps age is taking its toll -- some of these girls are now a ripe-old 14, not much younger than the age at which many rock and pop performers begin grown-up pop-music careers. Being shoehorned into this juvenile project appears a bit more forced and less fun. As a result, the group's sound is relentlessly perky and likely to grate on more sophisticated fans. Still, Girl Authority offers a lot more than many similar products on the market. Each girl is given a distinct performance personality (Glamour Girl, Urban Girl, Boho Girl, etc.) and a page in the CD insert.

Is it any good?

Unlike other kids-performing-for-kids projects, the girls are presented as real young people, friends who enjoy performing and traveling together. The lyrics are positive and girl-power affirming, but delivered in a self-conscious musical-theatre vocal style that doesn't always work with the material. (One especially weak moment is an anemic "Dancing in the Street"; skip this version and download the one by Martha and the Vandellas instead.) Overall, Girl Authority is cute as pie and resolutely upbeat, and will undoubtedly charm 5- to 7-year-old girls everywhere.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about the girls' costumed personalities, and figure out which one is most like each family member. Or not. What would happen if you and your group of pajama-party pals had a music group? Which kind of girl would you want to be? What songs would you cover?

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