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 power ballad shows off Katy Perry's formidable range, and contains none of the bad-girl themes she's become known for. The video for the song is likewise fairly clean, although it does show Perry and her lover wrestling and kissing in bed (clothed).
- Parents say
- Kids say
What's the story?
Katy Perry caused quite a stir with singles like "Ur So Gay" and "I Kissed a Girl," but THINKING OF YOU represents a departure both in lyrics and tone from those sensational, yet unique releases. This is a love song that's both raw ("He kissed my lips, I taste your mouth") and girlish ("'You're like an Indian summer in the middle of winter, Like a hard candy with a surprise center"). The song deals with some grown-up stuff -- the heartache of being torn between two lovers, regret, and the difficulty of moving on.
Is it any good?
With her low growls, high falsettos, convention-busting lyrics, and retro 40s glamour, Katy Perry is a true original. Her brazen style is unapologetically quirky, and holds a certain fascination among tweens and teens who enjoy watching her thumb her nose at society. In her choice of material, her blog, and in interviews Perry makes a point of characterizing herself as a girl who just wants to have fun -- and if that includes a bit of playful anarchy, then so be it. But "Thinking of You" shows off a romantic side of the artist that demonstrates her emotional range. For teens and tweens interested in the artist's persona, this song adds some depth to the mix -- and proves that you don't have to cause a stir to get some artistic recognition.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about the song's lyrics, which deal with the difficulty of moving on from a break-up and living with a heart-wrenching choice. Have you ever given something up (a friend, a book, a toy?) only to pine for that thing and regret your decision? How long did it take you to feel better? Do you think writing about your regrets helps you get over it? Older kids: What do you think of the image Perry has created for herself and the order in which her singles have been released -- sensationalistic songs followed by tame ones? Do you think the marketing was designed to create a buzz (however negative) about the artist, only to later "prove" she can really sing?