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Parents' Guide to Music

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THIS TIME AROUND
ARTISTS Hanson
WHO The three fresh-faced brothers who resuscitated teen pop
MUSICAL STYLE Top 40 not by the numbers
THINK Blues Traveler meets the Osmonds
RECURRENT THEMES Love hurts.
TYPICAL LYRIC ”Listen, please, don’t walk out the door/I’m on my knees, you’re all I’m living for”
SEX/VIOLENCE CONTENT Romantic but nothing untoward. What do you expect? They’re home-schooled.
LANGUAGE See above.
WHAT’S GOOD ABOUT IT Their message has deepened, and they write and play their own music.
WHAT’S NOT SO GOOD At 14, 17, and 19, they’re already world-weary.

OOPS!…I DID IT AGAIN
ARTISTS Britney Spears
WHO Currently, the biggest-selling in a long line of navel-centric nymphets
MUSICAL STYLE Lolita-pop, choreographed to a fault
THINK …One More Time…one more time
RECURRENT THEMES Boys to men
TYPICAL LYRIC ”I need to hear you say/You need me all the way/Oh, if you love me so/Don’t let me be the last to know”
SEX/VIOLENCE CONTENT Suggestive grunting and coy cooing
LANGUAGE Tamer than the packaging
WHAT’S GOOD ABOUT IT Her declaration of independence in ”Stronger” and her assertion that she’s no boy toy
WHAT’S NOT SO GOOD Her boy-toying in the title track

THE MARSHALL MATHERS LP
ARTISTS Eminem
WHO Highly controversial, chart-bustin’ Dre protege
MUSICAL STYLE Rap-id and raw
THINK White rhymer with major attitude
RECURRENT THEMES Dissing and dysfunction
TYPICAL LYRIC ”You were supposed to love me/Now bleed, bitch, bleed”
SEX/VIOLENCE CONTENT Off the chart
LANGUAGE You won’t want your kid within two blocks of this.
WHAT’S GOOD ABOUT IT His brilliant rhyming skills are impressive.
WHAT’S NOT SO GOOD Duh

THE HEAT ARTISTS Toni Braxton
WHO Mistress of love gone bad
MUSICAL STYLE Sultry, sexy, smoky R&B
THINK Female D’Angelo
RECURRENT THEMES Love really hurts.
TYPICAL LYRIC ”Just be a man about it/(Baby, you ain’t gotta lie to me, darling)/Just be a man about it/(If you wanna leave, go on now)”
SEX/VIOLENCE CONTENT Can get hot and heavy
LANGUAGE One bleepable word
WHAT’S GOOD ABOUT IT Love’s labour’s lost on ”I’m Still Breathing,” but Braxton will survive.
WHAT’S NOT SO GOOD More suitable for the boudoir than the minivan

MAD SEASON
ARTISTS matchbox twenty
WHO Five Floridians fronted by Santana’s ”Smooth” singer
MUSICAL STYLE Mainstream alternative
THINK Hootie and Spin Doctors, the next generation
RECURRENT THEMES Sure, love hurts, but life goes on.
TYPICAL LYRIC ”I feel stupid — but I think I been catchin’ on/I feel ugly — but I know I still turn you on”
SEX/VIOLENCE CONTENT Minimal
LANGUAGE One or two expletives
WHAT’S GOOD ABOUT IT They sold 11 million records and are still unlucky in love, just like the rest of us.
WHAT’S NOT SO GOOD Is a doormat really the best role model?

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