"The A Team" (CD Single)

Common Sense Media says

Young Brit sensation sings heartfelt tune about addiction.

Age(i)

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Quality(i)

 

What parents need to know

Positive messages

The song depicts in no uncertain terms the unpleasant realities of addiction and prostitution, but some kids and young teens might not understand the social criticism and could confuse the metaphors that give the song its message.

Positive role models

The subject of the song is a call girl who trades her body for drugs.

Violence
Not applicable
Sex

The lyrics are about prostitution. There are references to the girl in the song spending "long nights" with "strange men," she "sells love to another man," and she's a "call girl" with "no phone."  

Language
Not applicable
Consumerism
Not applicable
Drinking, drugs, & smoking

In describing the girl's drug dependency, words used include "grams," "pipe," a reference to being "covered in white." The music video includes a drug sale and paraphernalia, as well as a brief shot of the girl smoking crack cocaine.

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that while "The A Team" sounds like just another catchy romantic pop song, it actually tells a story about the deplorable state of a young girl living on the streets, selling herself to feed her addiction to getting high. Because these are real-world problems, depending on the age and maturity of your kids, you may or may not want to expose them to such grave images, especially those shown in the music video.

Parents say

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Kids say

What's the story?

Twenty-one-year-old British singer-songwriter Ed Sheeran earned a "Song of the Year" Grammy nomination for this single from his debut album, entitled simply +. The song is about a girl struggling to survive on the streets. Though he's co-written songs for One Direction and Taylor Swift, his solo material is decidedly edgier and more about partying and excess.

Is it any good?

QUALITY
 

Sheeran has a great voice and the song is shiny and catchy, warm and intimate, inviting and haunting. Classic singer-songwriter-with-an-acoustic-guitar sound.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about the difference between using images of drugs and sexual exploitation to glorify or criticize certain lifestyles. What sort of impact do you think such imagery has on kids, many of whom worship pop stars?

  • Does the accompanying music video for "The A Team" (which has more than 50 million views on YouTube) do more to convey the song's message than just the track alone?

  • Why do you think more and more young singer-songwriters talk about drugs and sex so openly these days?

Music details

Artist:Ed Sheeran
Release date:June 13, 2012
Type:Single
Label:Atlantic
Genre:Pop
Parental advisory:No
Edited version available:No

This review of "The A Team" (CD Single) was written by

About our rating system

  • ON: Content is age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • PAUSE: Know your child; some content may not be right for some kids.
  • OFF: Not age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • NOT FOR KIDS: Not appropriate for kids of any age.

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Quality

Our star rating assesses the media's overall quality.

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Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging, great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging, good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging, good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging, okay learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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What parents and kids say

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Teen, 13 years old Written byhugopaws January 4, 2013
AGE
12
QUALITY
 

A beautiful song!

Ed Sheeran is an amazing singer/songwriter. He writes his songs like poetry. Despite what the review says, I think that if you want to talk to your kids about drugs and prostitution, then this song might be a good lead in. If you listen to the rest of Ed's stuff, it's not about partying and mostly about love and loss. This song is beautiful and the message is an important one about society and the world we live in. I would say that if you want your kids to listen to this song, you should talk to them about what it's about.
What other families should know
Great messages
Great role models
Too much sex
Teen, 13 years old Written byI love 1D February 7, 2013
AGE
12
QUALITY
 

Favorite Song

Whoever wrote this is an idiot. Just because Ed Sheeran sings a song about drugs isn't going to make thousands of us teenagers go buy drugs!!! We aren't stupid, but this review makes us teenagers look ignorant! I love this song, but I'm not going to start smoking. That's all I have to say. But I think it has a good message. You should never have to resort to anything that could be bad for you. It will ruin your life.
Kid, 12 years old January 22, 2013
AGE
12
QUALITY
 

Ed Sheeran rules

The A Team is an amazing song.
What other families should know
Great messages
Too much sex
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking

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