Seeing Sounds

Music review by
Jacqueline Rupp, Common Sense Media
Seeing Sounds Music Poster Image
New take on genre is still a bit misogynistic.

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Kids say

age 14+
Based on 1 review

A lot or a little?

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

Positive Messages

Some objectification of women: "Hey/Do you have any black inside you?/Would you like some, like some?...Your girlfriend's jealous, you got the fattest ass." The song "Windows" is about voyeurism (guy watching a girl).

Violence
Sex

The rappers brag about being a "nasty guy" on the song "Time for Some Action" and discuss casual sex: "Don't you mistake this ma this is not love/it's lust/No cuddles and hugs/this is for floor and rugs." On "Everyone Nose" the guys indirectly link women having sex with getting money: "You got somethin' boys can't deny (Here's a hint)/It's like apple pie/Cut you open and you're just wired...A hundred dollar bills."

Language

"Bitch" is a favorite word of the band and is used as a reference to women, but also as a pronoun and an exclamation. "Motherf--ker," "f--k," and "s--t" are also thrown into the songs a few times.

Consumerism
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

A few references are scattered throughout the songs, such as on "Anti-Matter" ("Talking 'bout where the weed at/Wait, what you coughing for?/I thought you was an expert"). "Everyone Nose" is a reference to snorting cocaine in a public bathroom: "I got a crown made of powder, everybody knows who's the king of the coke flow be."

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that several songs at the beginning of this mixed-genre album deal with sexuality -- voyeurism and bragging about being a "nasty guy" and getting some "action." One song, "Everyone Nose," objectifies women and talks about snorting cocaine.

User Reviews

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Teen, 13 years old Written byEricCarrRulez March 13, 2011

What's the story?

The third album from this funk-rock-hip-hop trio attempts to -- according to the group -- create a listening experience that stimulates and intermixes the senses of listeners. Member Pharrell Williams has gained notoriety, since the group's last album, as a super-producer for pop acts. With this new-found buzz, SEEING SOUNDS covers a wide range of styles and topics from your standard pick-up rap to cross-genre cerebral tracks.

With a nice mix of jazz, rock, and funk thrown into these raps, and a surprisingly high quality sample of vocal harmonies, N.E.R.D. makes an admirable attempt at bringing the often straightforward genre to a new level. Mellow tracks like "Sooner or Later" and "Yeah You" demonstrate the group's ability to borrow from different styles, like on the jazzy "Sooner or Later," the retro-rock "Happy," and the R&B-infused "Love Bomb."

Is it any good?

Although the group's lyrics rarely rise above the shallow and immature, there are times when their word-warping raps are inspired, such as on "Everyone Nose." Unfortunately, the songs' misogyny -- particularly found on the opening tracks -- can be a turn-off, but despite the constant "looking-for-action" mentality and foul language, the album is still worth a listen.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about how a rap group markets itself. N.E.R.D. promotes itself as an enlightened, cerebral, and eccentric band. However, a lot of their lyrics follow standard rap conventions. How does marketing help establish an image beyond a group's actual work? Does an image sometimes become more important than the lyrical and musical content of a band?

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