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?
Extending the enormous success of her debut album, The Fame, audacious dance diva Lady Gaga has released THE FAME MONSTER -- an expanded version of the original with eight new tracks, including a duet with Beyonce ("Telephone"). About the new songs, Gaga has commented: "This is how I feel. I feel divided. I feel a dichotomy within myself." Judging by her earlier tunes, these feelings are nothing new to GaGa, who frequently sings about being pulled in different directions. While the artist's head-on exploration of her complex emotions is admirable, her journey is too mature for younger kids; there's a lot of fairly graphic discussions about sex, partying, drinking, and violent behavior in romantic relationships. The edited version of the album bleeps out the occasional swear word that crops up throughout the record, but the references to sex, drinking, and violence still remain.
Is it any good?
Lady Gaga has always been heavily influenced by '90s music, and the eight new tracks on The Fame Monster hold true to this tradition. The Spanish-inspired "Alejandro" smacks of Madonna's "La Isla Bonita;" the heavy synth-beat in "Monster" is reminiscent of classic Ace of Base; and "Dancing in the Dark" conjures the haunting sound of Rockwell's "Somebody's Watching Me" collaboration with Michael Jackson. The real stand-out track, however, is the epic ballad "Speechless," which showcases Gaga's true talent for singing and piano playing -- not just spectacle.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about the behavior Lady Gaga sings about. Why do some young adults engage in risky behaviors like lots of drinking and sex with unknown partners?
How can confused adolescents cope with emotional pain?
What is Lady Gaga's allure? Is it her music, her style, or both?