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Turning Point

Music review by
Kathi Kamen Goldmark, Common Sense Media
Turning Point Music Poster Image
Mario is talented, but he needs better material.

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A lot or a little?

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

Positive Messages

The "n" word is used; there's an implied sexual double-standard.


Innuendo, just short of explicit, on a couple of songs.


Occasional four-letter words.


There's a whole song about new Nikes.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that double-standard posturing detracts from this young singer's enormous talent.

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What's the story?

There is no doubt that Mario, at age 18, is a young man with phenomenal talent. Oddly enough, that's kind of a problem on TURNING POINT. In a voice that seems made to sing romantic soul and R&B, he twists himself around sexist innuendo, double-standard posturing, and strong language that does not roll easily off his velvet tongue. On ballads like \"Let Me Love You\" and \"Directions\" you'll hear spare, tasteful instrumental arrangements setting the stage for soulful, expressive singing -- Mario at his best. Even on these tracks, the songs themselves are not memorable, but the delivery is exquisite. The wilder tracks are less successful, as Mario tries to twist his beautiful voice around the \"n\" word, for example, on \"18,\" or recount a backroom tryst in \"Call the Cops.\"

Is it any good?

Careful production and terrific arrangements give Turning Point a glossy sheen throughout. This helps a lot, but it would be wonderful to see Mario take a real risk, find some exceptional songwriters to work with, drop the immature street-wise posturing, and embrace the romantic soulful ballads that he was clearly born to sing.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about why someone so clearly born to be a soul singer feels he has to give in to obvious peer pressure, and what they would do in similar circumstances.

Music details

  • Artist: Mario
  • Release date: December 7, 2004
  • Label: J Records
  • Genre: R&B
  • Parental advisory: No
  • Edited version available: No

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