The Distance

Music review by
Jessica Dawson, Common Sense Media
The Distance Music Poster Image
Family-friendly Southern rock from nice-guy Idol.

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this music.

Positive Messages

"Nineteen" is about 9/11 and going away to war and mentions weapons. A soldier becomes a fallen hero. Nothing graphic. "I Live in a Battlefield" is a metaphor for a fallen relationship which includes the lyrics "not one single drop of blood" -- nothing violent.


Mostly, very clean. "Wedding Day Blues" talks about kicking out the groom and says "made love to the bride" in the back of the limousine. One line in "Keepin' it Real" says, "She's got a brand new movie 'bout givin' up the booty."

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

One line says, "I downed a bottle of wine that was a hundred years old."

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that this American Idol Season 5 Winner still maintains his good guy image for the most part. There's a song about crashing a wedding and stealing the bride (in the back of the limo), but other than that, it's Southern boy manners.

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What's the story?

Season 5 American Idol winner Taylor Hicks is trying to make his way back into the spotlight with his latest studio album, THE DISTANCE. Abandoning Idol molds and studio exec expectations, Hicks has branched out on his own and delivered more of what his fans first came to love about him: a soulful, southern rock style with an experienced voice and sweet disposition. Produced by Simon Climie (Eric Clapton, Faith Hill), The Distance features 11 tracks, 7 of which were co-written by Hicks, including a duet with past Idol fave Elliot Yamin.

Is it any good?

If you've been wondering what happened to American Idol winner Taylor Hicks, wonder no more. Hicks is gettin' back to his southern roots with The Distance. Although there are some tracks that are forgettable and regrettable ("Keepin' it Real", "Wedding Day Blues"), there are several that showcase Hicks' real talent and his appeal to a wide audience. "What's Right is Right" and "Newfound Freedom" are upbeat, soulful rock and "Maybe You Should" is a slow, bluesy ballad that Taylor's vocals compliment perfectly. Most of the songs are clean and OK for kids as young as tween age.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about the contest that drives American Idol. Do you think its winners can have lasting, successful careers? Why or why not? Why do you think some past participants have been more successful than others? Is it related to talent, image, marketing, or all of the above? Also, talk about ad placement, which is rampant on the show.

Music details

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