A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this music.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that these lyrics are strong on depressing if innocuous teen angst ("I'll face myself to cross out what I've become/Erase myself and let go of what I've done," by Linkin Park) and some darkly evocative poetry ("They're bound to kill us all/in white-washed halls/the jackals lick their paws" in "Doomsday Clock" by Smashing Pumpkins).
- Parents say
- Kids say
What's the story?
TRANSFORMERS: THE ALBUM (or so it's called) is actually a collection of a dozen songs by popular groups, one third of which ("Second to None" by Styles of Beyond featuring Mike Shinoda; "End of the World" by Armor for Sleep; "Retina and the Sky" by Idiot Pilot; and -- get this -- "Transformers Theme" by Mutemath) don't actually get played in the movie. Many of the lyrics are darkly poetic in a self-conscious, teen-angst sort of way. But there's also a glimmer of hope and redemption offered by the Goo Goo Dolls on "Before It's Too Late" with "Hold on before it's too late/until we leave this behind/Don't fall, just be who you are/It's all that we need in our lives."
Is it any good?
Performances are strong, delivering a satisfying compilation for fans of music that's heavy on self-important nihilist posturing and incendiary electric guitar riffs, if light on humor. Be aware that some lyrics may be disturbing to young kids ("Apocalyptic thieves are lost among our dead; they're bound to kill us all/in white-washed halls/the jackals lick their paws" in "Doomsday Clock" by Smashing Pumpkins; "Your dream vacation, smile Hostage Refuge/A work in progress you bleed/just like you puke while running a mile" in "Pretty Handsome Awkward" by The Used).