Up to Now

Common Sense Media says

Indie band's greatest hits are OK for older kids.

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Quality(i)

 

What parents need to know

Positive messages

Songs are about complex emotions and struggles, but things stay fairly positive throughout the angst: "Just gimme something to hold on to."

Positive role models

Expressive and introspective, this band of guys shows that men can be in touch with their emotional side, too. "It makes it easier to know what I want with my hands open, and my eyes open, I just keep hoping that your heart opens."

Sex

There are some lines that allude to romantic situations, but nothing explicit. Metaphorical lines include "under your skin feels like home."

Consumerism

"Set the Fire to the Third Bar" was used to promote the movie Dear John.

Drinking, drugs, & smoking

"Crazy in Love" mentions "chain smokers." Another song is titled "Dark Roman Wine," but the song actually doesn't mention anything about drinking.

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that this double album is best suited for teens, who will understand the mixed emotions on display here. Younger kids might not be ready for such strife and struggle, and most likely won't be interested, anyway. The lyrics are pretty squeaky clean; although there are some vaguely sensual moments, there isn't anything really sexual.

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Kids say

What's the story?

UP TO NOW is the perfect title for Snow Patrol's first compilation album. It features some of the Northern Ireland's band's greatest hits, as well as a smattering of tracks from the band's side project, The Reindeer Section. Overall, there are 30 tracks, with most written by frontman Gary Lightbody. The material is generally the same throughout, with songs that use lots of descriptive verses and metaphorical lyrics to describe the myriad of emotions involved in love. These sentiments are set to a light rock sound with toned-down instrumentals that take a backseat to the vocals.

Is it any good?

QUALITY
 

There's a lot to listen to here! Snow Patrol does indie rock as well as any other band on the scene today, and this release proves that, with all of their most popular tracks taking center stage. Things can get a little overwhelming with so many tracks to hear, but there are some songs not to be missed, like "The Planets Bend Between Us," "Set the Fire to the Third Bar" (featuring Martha Wainwright), and "Crazy in Love," which show off the band's flexibility. Here elements of hip-hop, folk, and Euro-pop combine to make interesting partners for a CD that otherwise might become too perfectly pop-rock.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about boys and their emotions. How does the media portray men and their dealings with conflict and sadness? Do you think boys are conditioned to be more stoic, or is it just part of their nature? Can you think of some examples of popular male figures who are very emotional and others who are more reserved? Is showing emotion considered a sign of weakness in some male-oriented media, like action movies or video games?

  • Talk about love and age-appropriate relationships. This album illustrates how complex emotions can get in a romantic relationship. Do you think there is a certain age where you are ready for these feelings? Have you talked to your family about this issue? Are your parents' ideas about love different than yours? Do you think that might be because they have more experience?

  • Talk about the best ways to express emotion. These songs seem to let out a lot of the band's feelings and problems. Do you think writing down what you're feeling might make you feel better if you're struggling through a problem? Are there other ways to get out what's pent up inside? Does talking to a close friend help?

Music details

Artist:Snow Patrol
Release date:November 10, 2009
Label:Geffen Records
Genre:Indie Rock
Parental advisory:No
Edited version available:No

This review of Up to Now was written by

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  • 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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  • Good: Pretty engaging; good learning approach.
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  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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