A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this music.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Songs for Japan is filled with songs about courage, optimism, and other uplifting attitudes. While the long track list includes a few tunes by artists who are known for releasing mature music (e.g. Eminem and Nicki Minaj), even their tunes are fairly clean, with any profanity bleeped out and fewer hardcore references to sex, substance use, and violence than normal. One song includes a line with references to sexual orientation ("no matter gay, straight or bi / lesbian, transgendered life"). Overall, the record is an age-appropriate choice for tweens and teens who want to buy good music while supporting a worthy cause.
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What's the story?
SONGS FOR JAPAN is a double album of smash hits by various artists new and old who have each contributed a single to this compilation supporting relief efforts for Japan's devastating 2011 earthquake and tsunami. Each disc includes 19 songs that run the gamut from Lady GaGa's "Born This Way" to Kings of Leon's "Use Somebody" to John Lennon's "Imagine." No matter what era they came from, all of these songs share common themes, such as helping others when they're down and hope for the future. Though the release contains some tracks by artists like Eminem and Nicki Minaj, who typically release more mature music, their contributions to the album are still fairly tame -- making the record OK for tweens and younger teens.
Is it any good?
Musically, you can't really go wrong with this record, since it offers some of the best songs released across various genres, from pop to rock to country. Pop fans will be excited to hear big hits by Katy Perry, Pink, and Bruno Mars; rockers will love the tracks from the Foo Fighters, Red Hot Chili Peppers, and U2; and country fans will gravitate toward tunes by Lady Antebellum and Keith Urban.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about the potential effects of Japan's massive 2011 earthquake and tsunami on the children and families in that country.
Besides buying Songs for Japan, name five other things your family can do to help the Japanese kids and families who were victims of these disasters.
Why do you think artists decide to contribute to albums like this? Do they get anything out of it beyond helping a good cause?