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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 album might leave them feeling that singer Douglas Robb of Hoobastank would rather cuddle with your teenage daughter than do anything else. The lyrics are heavily geared toward teen feelings, including finding and losing first love and wanting to get out and explore the world -- preferably with someone else. It's all set to moderately heavy guitar rock that's neither too fast nor scary-heavy. If there's an offensive or dangerous moment on the whole record, good luck finding it.
- Parents say
- Kids say
What's the story?
One could spend a year dissecting the songs on THE REASON up and down and backwards and forwards and find neither one offensive (or particularly original) word or note. That's not necessarily a bad thing for anyone involved. Artistically, the band has lots of energy and understands how far a song can go on a moderately-exciting hook. Lyrically there's plenty of feeling from singer Douglas Robb, who isn't afraid to write a song like \"The Reason\" that will have kids slow-dancing and claiming the song for their own from coast-to-coast. Falling in love, breaking up, dreams of getting out in the world -- Robb covers it all, and sings in a more than convincing way. If Robb needs a hug, we're all going to know about it.
Is it any good?
Robb's lyrical approach, while tremendously simple, probably had execs at Island Records salivating over his simple ability to cover all the teen ground -- but not in a condescending or manufactured way. Occasionally it gets to be too much, as on "Lucky," when Robb bubbles "No more dark days, only sun rays..." But the point is clear, and certainly not for the cynical.
The production is slick and modern and there's never even a hint of threatening tone both in music and vocals. That's not to say it's wimpy -- far from it. There's legitimate energy and feeling. While there's not one moment that anyone could convincingly call classic, neither are there any down moments. But the breezy tone suggests it's for a demographic in its teens and early 20s.