A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this music.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that The Fault in Our Stars soundtrack includes 15 songs -- some of which were written specifically for the movie -- plus a bonus track. There's a mix of folk, electro-pop, and indie-rock from big-name artists including Ed Sheeran, M83, Birdy, Grouplove, Charli XCX, and more. There's a Swedish rap song called "Bomfalleralla" with profane, sexually lewd, and violent lyrics, but listeners who don't speak Swedish won't know what the words mean. There isn't any other iffy content to worry about, except one vague drug reference in Charli XCX's "Boom Clap," which includes the lyrics "First kiss just like a drug / under your influence / You take me over, you're the magic in my veins / This must be love." Listeners who've seen the movie or read the book likely will associate the songs with the subject matter of the story -- which includes teens falling in love, losing their virginity, and dealing with loss and death.
What's the story?
Director Josh Boone reveals in the liner notes how music, especially M83's "Wait," and John Green's best-selling novel The Fault in Our Stars helped him cope with the death of a close friend who passed away from stage 4 lung cancer. Boone teamed up with veteran music supervisor Season Kent -- who helped with the music for The Spectacular Now which also starred Shailene Woodley -- to create the perfect soundtrack for this epic story of love and loss.
Is it any good?
As Augustus says, "That's the thing about pain. It demands to be felt." Although there are plenty of heartrending ballads -- including Ed Sheeran's emotional "All of the Stars," Kodaline's bittersweet "All I Want," and Lykke Li's melancholic "No One Ever Loved" -- there are songs that inspire listeners to live life to the fullest, such as Birdy's piano-driven "Not About Angels" and STRFKR's upbeat "While I'm Alive." Grouplove's euphoric anthem "Let Me In" and Charli XCX's energetic, electro-pop track "Boom Clap" highlight the excitement of falling in love. The standout track, however, is M83's "Wait," which builds "slowly, and then all at once" and sends you on an emotional rollercoaster that only goes up.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about the soundtrack. Why do you think director Josh Boone and music supervisor Season Kent decided to include so many tracks from big-name artists?
Does music help you cope with grief? Are there any songs in particular that have helped you deal with the loss of a loved one?
Do you like the inclusion of Afasi & Filthy's "Bomfalleralla" on the soundtrack?
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