Totally Hits 2003

Music review by
Kathi Kamen Goldmark, Common Sense Media
Totally Hits 2003 Music Poster Image
No heights, no depths, no surprises.

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this music.

Positive Messages

CD kicks off with Kelly Clarkson's "Miss Independent"--about a girl who gives up independence for love, a retro message that endures throughout the CD. Otherwise, there's nothing objectionable.

Violence

These songs are all hits for a reason; they're catchy and innocuous.

Sex

Sean Paul approaches explicit on "Like Glue"--everything else is pretty mild.

Language

Squeaky-clean, but the phrasing of the lyric "I'm a-dic...I'm addicted to you" is momentarily startling.

Consumerism

A lot of "American Idol" tie-ins here, a dreamy fantasy shopping spree on "Into You" by Fabolous (featuring Tania) that's actually pretty adorable.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Occasional mild innuendo.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that this is a cheerful, bouncy collection of recent pop hits, enjoyable on the off-chance that your entire family isn't already tired of hearing these songs on the radio.

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What's the story?

Kelly Clarkson kicks off this compilation with \"Miss Independent,\" a catchy ditty in which a young woman learns how to sacrifice her independence for love, delivered with the \"American Idol\" sweetheart's signature breathy histrionics. Offerings by artists as diverse as Santana, Fabolous, Sean Paul, Uncle Kracker, Jewel, and Luther Vandross follow.

Is it any good?

The strong points of TOTALLY HITS 2003 are Avril Levine's delightful "SK8ER BOI" (a young woman rejects the high school geek only to regret it later when he becomes a rock star) and Luther Vandross's heart-tugger, "Dance With My Father," beautifully written and exquisitely performed. In "Into You," by Fabolous (featuring Tania), the singer imagines taking his sweetie on a shopping spree--a sweet and dreamy fantasy with lots of duet chemistry. The most startling lyric is the peculiar phrasing of Simple Plan's "Addicted." ("I'm a-dic..addicted to you" sounds like, well, you know.) But this is a clean collection of popular hits, family-safe if a little boring at times.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about why they think certain pop songs get massive radio play and become big hits.

Music details

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