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"Solo" (CD single)
A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this music.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that this is a good choice for tweens who want to enjoy reggae because it doesn't have the sexuality found on most of today's dancehall hits. Even though the theme of the song is grief and loss, there's nothing too heavy here, aside from a little over-dramatizing of how heartbroken Iyaz feels ( "I don't want to walk this earth If I gotta do it solo (solo).")
What's the story?
Recognize the hook? That's probably because much of "SOLO" relies on samples of Janet Jackson's 1993 hit "Again." Iyaz follows up his breakout hit "Replay" from 2009 with this dancehall single. Covering Iyaz's sorrow for losing the woman he loves, "Solo" features upbeat club rhythms amidst Iyaz's Caribbean vocals.
Is it any good?
This is a great-sounding song...just like it was in 1993 when "Again" came out. In fact, this isn't so much of a sampling of Jackson's hit ballad as it is a cover. Iyaz relies too heavily on the harmonies of this previous hit to carry the single. It would've been nice, in fact, to hear more of Iyaz's original sound as there are some clunky transitions on here. But the few instances of clever lyrics, like "Cuz I was so high, And now I'm so low and I don't wanna walk around alone, solo" and light reggae style make this a feel-good jam that's fine for kids.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about making old music new again. Janet Jackson's "Again" is sampled on this single and plays a big role in the harmonies. Were you familiar with the original song before hearing this track? Which do you prefer? Why do you think an artist would use a song from nearly 20 years ago for a new dance track? Do you like when a song samples another, or do you find it lacks creativity?
Talk about finding appropriate music. Some reggae songs might be too edgy or sexy for younger listeners. How can you make sure an individual single is okay? How can you learn about lyrics without having to study an entire CD?
Discuss how to deal with a break-up. Can you give any examples of celebrities who've suffered bad break-ups? What can you learn from them, and how can you behave better? What can you do when you're feeling angry or sad about a relationship that has fallen apart? Who can you talk to about your feelings?
For kids who love dance music
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