"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, 14 years old Written byMy1ten0baby February 3, 2014
AGE
13
QUALITY
 

Not For Preteens

The problem of this song is there is drugs all over the video so drug problem is 4/5.
What other families should know
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking
Teen, 14 years old Written byilovemaroon5 December 19, 2013
AGE
13
QUALITY
 

Interesting Meaning to the Song, but its Good Quality

Now surprisingly, this song is about drugs. Specifically about what they call the a class drugs. But before you just shut this song off, it isn't just about drugs. Ed sheeran, when he was 18 had a gig at a shelter. He heard all of these stories while he was there, so he decided to write a song about the stories he heard. Now, doesn't that change everything, again. Its actually a very high quality song. He, himself, wrote it. Its about life. Not something he did, but something he heard. The rhythm is very good and the lyrics sound very nice as well.
What other families should know
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking
Kid, 12 years old November 23, 2013
AGE
12
QUALITY
 

BEST SONG EVER

It is a great song. It has some references, but they just go over younger kids heads. It can also teach older kids a good life lesson.
What other families should know
Great messages
Great role models
Too much sex
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking

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