Parents’ guide to new music
Unleash the Dragon
Who: One quarter of Baltimore-based hip-hop outfit Dru Hill
Musical Style: R&B meets T&A
Think: Marvin Gaye’s ”Sexual Healing” minus the soul
Recurrent Themes: Sex and love, in that order
Typical Lyrics: ”I’m thinkin’ about the things that you did to me/Imagining your body movin’ like a centipede”
Sex/Violence Content: This guy’s all about unleashing that dragon.
What’s Good About It: Dropping his playa facade, Sisqó wants to ”make it more than sexual.”
What’s Not So Good: ”Thong Song” may drive your teenage daughter to Frederick’s of Hollywood.
No Strings Attached
BOLD “Who:”] Those guys up on your daughter’s wall. No, the other ones.
Musical Style: Top 40, with a funky beat
Think: Backstreet Boys meet 98 Degrees meet LFO
Recurrent Themes: Puppy Love
Typical Lyrics: ”And I will take you in my arms/And hold you right where you belong”
Sex/Violence Content: Mildly suggestive
Language: Preteen friendly
What’s Good About It: The boys serve as nonthreatening objects of affection.
What’s Not So Good: Their misguided attempt to toughen up and go street rings false.
Who: Cover girl on the verge of diva-hood
Musical Style: Country, after a twang-ectomy
Think: Shania in twaining
Recurrent Themes: Love and heartbreak
Typical Lyrics: ”That’s how love moves/Like a river running through you”
Sex/Violence Content: ”Let’s Make Love,” her duet with hubby Tim McGraw, is as randy as it gets
Language: No cussin’ here
What’s Good About It: ”Love Is a Sweet Thing” is pure joy
What’s Not So Good: The cheesecake CD photos
Return to Saturn
Who: So Cal party band fronted by punky, pink-haired Gwen Stefani
Musical Style: Ska’s the limit
Think: A latter-day belly-baring Blondie
Recurrent Themes: Aging accompanied by fantasies of domestic bliss
Typical Lyrics: ”Makeup’s all off/Who am I?/Magic’s in the makeup/Who am I?”
Sex/Violence Content: None
Language: A parent-pleasing PG
What’s Good About It: Five years older, they still R-O-C-K
What’s Not So Good: At age 30, Stefani raises the ludicrous specter of spinsterhood
Reinventing the Steel
Who: Ax-wielding Texas quartet
Musical Style: Metal to mosh by
Think: The construction workers drilling down the street
Recurrent Themes: Anger, futility, death
Typical Lyrics: ”They will tell you all about guilt/And in time you’ll face the darkness/But darkness is a friend to you”
Sex/Violence Content: Not graphic, but plenty aggressive
Language: As hardcore as the music
What’s Good About It: Your teens will eventually grow out of it.
What’s Not So Good: They may go deaf first.