Unbroken

Common Sense Media says

OK for young Idol fans but lacks kid appeal.

Age(i)

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Quality(i)

 

What parents need to know

Positive messages

Many of the songs discuss taking responsibility for life choices and trying to move on from them. "Why did I let it go away, when I had it all."

Positive role models

McPhee presents a female image that isn't too vulnerable or weak. "Acting like it's my fault, but you're the one to blame, makes me happy to use you a little."

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that there's nothing objectionable on this album: no sex, violence, or bad language. However, the general angst and emotional drama might not appeal to kids and may be hard for them to understand. Plus, the overall slow pace will keep this release reserved for more mature listeners who aren't just looking for songs to dance to.

Parents say

Kids say

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What's the story?

Kat McPhee has come a long way from the days when she was named runner-up to Taylor Hicks in the fifth season of American Idol. But, the singer/model/TV personality hasn't been heard belting out songs much lately. That is, until her recent sophomore album UNBROKEN was released. It marks her debut with a new record label, a new bombshell blonde look, and a re-invented sound that is much less dance pop than her previous album. This time around, McPhee focuses on ballads and emotion-driven tunes, rather than rhythm-heavy club tracks.

Is it any good?

QUALITY
 

Listen to a few of the tracks off McPhee's new album, and it's easy to hear a vocal pattern appear that falls into a standard crescendo theme: McPhee's vocals start out subtle and brooding and then burst out with a shot of emotion that leads into a chorus. It's not a revolutionary concept, and neither is this album. Generalized sorrow and emotional confusion don't help the release stand out any, and it's only thanks to a few tracks that break free of this mold, like the Calypso-sounding "Brand New Key" and honky-tonk "Last Letter," that earn this album a listen.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about Katharine McPhee's changing image. Why does a female singer need to focus on presenting an alluring, eye-catching image? Why do you think McPhee appears as a glamorous blonde on her new album cover as opposed to the more everyday look she sported a few years back? What message does this send to girls about how to attract attention and popularity?

  • How does McPhee compare to other American Idol singers? Why do you think only some of the top finalists have gone on to successful music careers and others have faded away from the limelight?

  • Talk about different musical styles. Do you think an artist can easily change from one style to another and still retain credibility? Or, might such a change be a marketing strategy to attract new listeners?

Music details

Artist:Katharine McPhee
Release date:January 5, 2010
Label:Verve Forecast
Genre:Adult Contemporary
Parental advisory:No
Edited version available:No

This review of Unbroken was written by

About our rating system

  • ON: Content is age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • PAUSE: Know your child; some content may not be right for some kids.
  • OFF: Not age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • NOT FOR KIDS: Not appropriate for kids of any age.

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Quality

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Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging; great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging; good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging; good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging; OK learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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Parent of a 6 year old Written bymadsmooney1214 October 15, 2012
AGE
10
QUALITY
 

unbroken

look she sported a few years back? What message does this send to girls about how to attract attention and popularity? How does McPhee compare to other American Idol singers? Why do you think only some of the top finalists have gone on to successful music careers and others have faded away from the limelight? Talk about different musical styles. Do you think an artist can easily change from one style to another and still retain credibility? Or, might such a change be a marketing strategy to attract new listeners?
What other families should know
Great messages
Great role models

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