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 fun CD that everyone in the family will like. There are a couple of edgy lines that keep this from being G-rated, but compared to most tween and teen CDs, this is a guiltless pleasure. You might want to ask your kids why they think other people have to be so "in your face" when Ruben is just as entertaining without any sexual, commercial, or violent messages.
What's the story?
Ruben Studdard stole a lot of hearts during his stint on American Idol. We rooted for him because he didn't look like your typical pop pretty-boy; we liked him because he seemed like a sweetie; but we voted for him because of his wonderful voice -- rich, expressive, and soulful. Appropriately, Ruben's debut CD is called SOULFUL, and that he is. He doesn't disappoint, shining the most on the cover tunes: \"How Can You Mend A Broken Heart\" is a show-stopper. \"Superstar,\" usually sung by women as kind of a backstage groupie's lament, is given an interesting twist with his straight-ahead, masculine delivery.
Is it any good?
On Soulful, Ruben shows off his phenomenal singing abilities to near perfection. There's a little bit of imaginary drinking and a couple of playfully sexy interludes ("What Is Sexy," "After the Candles Burn"), but this very mild CD is unlikely to offend anyone, particularly because Ruben's sweetness shines throughout. Although the musical arrangements and production fall far short of doing the singer justice, Ruben's amazing voice will make this a CD the whole family can enjoy.