Smoke & Mirrors

Music review by
Stephanie Bruzzese, Common Sense Media
Smoke & Mirrors Music Poster Image
Clean alt-rock CD is tween-friendly but boring.

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Kids say

age 7+
Based on 1 review

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A lot or a little?

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

Positive Messages

While the lyrics can be pensive and dark at times, they advocate for healthy behaviors overall. For example: "I believe that love should be a reason to give and get back in return / I wanna breathe in a new beginning with someone who will wrap her arms around what's left of me."

Positive Role Models & Representations

The Lifehouse guys avoid the media circus, with frontman Jason Wade choosing to live a drama-free life with his wife of nine years.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that while this CD features a fair amount of young adult emotional angst, it doesn't include profanity or references to sex and substance use. Typical lyrics include: "Loneliness facing up and down these hallways, second-guessing every thought / Mystified, just spinning 'round in circles / Drowning in the silent screaming with nothing left to say."

User Reviews

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Teen, 15 years old Written byEmily999162 April 21, 2014

Music for Just About Any Age

Now, music like this in my opinion is okay for just about anyone. With kids, it can be kind of iffy. It depends on weather or not they ask what the song means.... Continue reading

What's the story?

SMOKE & MIRRORS marks the fifth studio album for Lifehouse, the pop-rock band who first made it big nearly a decade ago with their single "Hanging By a Moment." Not a lot has changed, with this quartet of guys sticking to their tried-and-true lyrical formula. Most of the songs deal with the pain that can be involved in young adulthood and first loves, yet they omit any graphic language, descriptions of sexual situations, or references to substance use. Having described themselves as not a Christian rock band, but a rock band composed of Christians, Lifehouse's lyrics are squeaky clean.

Is it any good?

In terms of the music itself, there's nothing inherently wrong with this record -- there's just not a lot that's overwhelmingly right. Most of the tracks sound eerily similar to the band's very first hit -- "Hanging by a Moment" -- which wouldn't be so bad if we hadn't already been hearing the song for the past ten years. By now, this sound has grown tired and become just plain boring.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about strategies that young adults can use to cope with the emotional strain that often accompanies growing up. What are five things a young adult can do to feel better about the conflicting feelings he or she may be experiencing?

  • The band describes themselves as "not a Christian rock band, but a rock band composed of Christians." What's the difference between these descriptions, or do you think they are really the same thing?

Music details

  • Artist: Lifehouse
  • Release date: March 2, 2010
  • Label: Dreamworks
  • Genre: Light Rock
  • Parental advisory: No
  • Edited version available: No
  • Last updated: November 11, 2020

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