A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this music.
What 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.
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?
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.
Talk to your kids 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?
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