A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this music.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that this collection is comprised of songs used as a backdrop on the television show The Hills, an MTV reality series spin-off of its Laguna Beach. The show follows 19-year-old Lauren "LC" Conrad as she moves beyond high school and gets an apartment, lands an internship -- at Teen Vogue, no less -- and attends college at the Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising. Although the show (and its pretty cast) focuses much attention on appearance, fashion, and boys, the soundtrack has a clean, stronger message of individuality, independence, and girl power.
What's the story?
i>The Hills is a reality drama that isn't necessarily grounded in reality. The series follows a cast of beautiful blondes throughout Los Angeles as they juggle college, work, and relationships. The juggling, however, is all quite glamorous, from classes at the Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising to a highly coveted internship at Teen Vogue to picture-perfect dates and boyfriends. Thankfully, THE HILLS soundtrack is more sincere, with palatable pop songs with primarily clean content and a mostly positive message. Combined, the songs create a strong statement about independence, enduring life's changes, and seizing opportunities.
Is it any good?
The artists are fairly diverse, including Augustana, Jag Star, Lindsay Lohan, Good Charlotte, and Pink, as well as classic late-'80s band Missing Persons. Like the series, the soundtrack skews heavily to girls, and female recording artists are clearly represented. Natasha Bedingfield's lovely "Unwritten" (also the series' theme song) is about the importance of learning from mistakes and moving forward. Tracks from Imogen Heap, Samantha Moore, and Jag Star focus on breaking out of bad relationships. The soundtrack clearly celebrates substance over style.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about why these particular songs were selected for the television show and how they contrast with or complement what's happening on-screen. They can also discuss how daunting and frightening it can be to face major changes in life, such as starting college or beginning an internship.