A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this music.
What parents need to know
- Parents say
- Kids say
What's the story?
Any parent who has ever been in a band can use American Idol winner Taylor Hicks' major label debut, TAYLOR HICKS, to segue into stories about those crazy good old days. Better yet, sit back with your kids and enjoy this honest, listener-friendly contribution to the Idol alumni oeuvres. The songs are a collection of comfortable blue-eyed soul performed by a guy who's clocked some real live hours on stage. Lyrical themes stay mostly in the love and heartbreak realm, as this self-described world-weary singer falls, but then picks himself up with lyrics such as "We'll break it all open/Finding our way/We might end up broken and wounded/But baby it's worth it for even one day/Just to feel that way."
Is it any good?
Instead of overslick, overproduced tracks, Hicks' understated presentation allows these well-crafted tunes some breathing room. He's not the most inventive songwriter -- his originals sound a lot like the covers, paying generous tribute to Marvin Gaye and Ray Charles, but what better inspiration than classic soul? Taylor Hicks distinguishes himself from other winners with a voice reminiscent of soul singer Michael McDonald mixed with a dash of Bob Seger and a musical sensibility that comes from years of real playing in real bands that can't be faked.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about Taylor's real-life band experience before becoming an American Idol winner. Did his years playing for live audiences affect his sound? Can you hear the difference between Taylor's music and that of other winners who sing over slick karaoke-like tracks?