WHY WE CARE


Plugged In exists to shine a light on the world of popular entertainment while giving you and your family the essential tools you need to understand, navigate and impact the culture in which we live. Through reviews, articles and discussions, we want to spark intellectual thought, spiritual growth and a desire to follow the command of Colossians 2:8: "See to it that no one takes you captive through hollow and deceptive philosophy, which depends on human tradition and the basic principles of this world rather than on Christ."

YOUR STORIES


Family uses Plugged In as a ‘significant compass’

"I am at a loss for words to adequately express how much it means to my husband and me to know that there is an organization like Focus that is rooting for us. Just today I was reading Psalm 37 and thinking about how your ministry provides ways to 'dwell in the land and enjoy safe pasture.' We have two teenagers and an 8-year-old in our household...Plugged In has become a significant compass for our family. All three of our kids are dedicated to their walk with Christ but they still encounter challenges. Thanks for all of your research and persistence in helping us navigate through stormy waters."

Plugged In helps college student stand-up for his belief

"Thanks for the great job you do in posting movie and television reviews online. I’m a college freshman and I recently had a confrontational disagreement with my English professor regarding an R-rated film. It is her favorite movie and she wanted to show it in class. I went to your Web site to research the film’s content. Although I had not seen the movie myself, I was able to make an educated argument against it based on the concerns you outlined. The prof said that she was impressed by my stand and decided to poll the whole class and give us a choice. We overwhelmingly voted to watch a G-rated movie instead! I’ve learned that I can trust your site and I will be using it a lot in the future.”

Plugged In brings ‘Sanity and Order’ to Non-believer

“Even though I don’t consider myself a Christian, I find your Plugged In Web site useful and thought-provoking. No one reviews movies like you do. Instead of being judgmental, you put entertainment ‘on trial.’ After presenting the evidence, you allow the jury of your readers to decide for themselves what they should do. In my opinion, you bring sanity and order to the wild world of modern day entertainment. Keep up the good work!”

Mom thinks Plugged In is the ‘BEST Christian media review site’

"Our family doesn't go to the movies until we go online and check out your assessment of a given film. I think this is the BEST Christian media review website that I've found, and I recommend it to my family and friends. Keep up the good work!"

SUPPORT THE WORK OF PLUGGED IN

Our hope is that whether you're a parent, youth leader or teen, the information and tools at Plugged In will help you and your family make appropriate media decisions. We are privileged to do the work we do, and are continually thankful for the generosity and support from you, our loyal readers, listeners and friends.

We hope this review was both interesting and useful. Please share it with family and friends who would benefit from it as well.

Album Review

Chris Daughtry has a message of hope for his fans on Cage to Rattle. This four-time Grammy nominee and his band have just released their first album since 2013, and it’s full of the former American Idol stars's raw, belting vocals. Daughtry's fifth studio album brims with, as he puts it, a “Southern gospel vibe” and “elements of funk." It’s an honest, open, encouraging effort that's ready to rattle.

Positive Elements

Spiritual Content

Sexual Content

Violent Content

Crude or Profane Language

Drug and Alcohol Content

Other Negative Elements

Conclusion

Pro-social Content

Chris Daughtry has been married for 18 years, and his band's music reflects that long-time commitment. In "Deep End," he and his wife collaborated to write a song that expresses a message of love and encouragement in times of need. We hear, "I want you by my side/And I’m right here waiting for you.” Daughtry also sings, "And I'm in way over my head/And I'm not scared, I'm not scared, no/ … Not afraid, hell or high water/I wanna dive into you."

Meanwhile, “Gravity” ponders what provides an existential anchor ("I need an anchor, my gravity") when he feels disoriented or lost ("Escape the noise to find a voice/ … Stranded, with no land in sight"). His answer? Thinking about the comfort of home, even when he's far away from it: "Life in a familiar place/What fills the void that we need/ … I can feel your love from a different place, that's OK/Don't have to be miles apart if you're here in my heart."

Likewise on "As You Are," Daughtry sings about tearing down the barriers that "isolate" and "frustrate," even as he repeatedly offers this promise of unconditional love: "I love you as you are."

Daughtry has clearly learned lessons about weathering life's storms by choosing commitment in his marriage (and in other challenges). And he encourages strugglers to persevere, to move forward through pain in songs such as “Backbone,” “Death of Me,” “Stuff of Legends” and “White Flag.” In “Backbone,” he says to the hurting, “When you’re feeling like you’re never gonna dig your way out/… Keep pushing up the river/Keep mining for the silver/ ‘Till you’ve struck gold.” He’s honest about how difficult life’s obstacles can feel in “Death of Me," where we hear, “I find it hard to cope/Without a thread of hope." But then he adds, "Blood is thicker than water/But love is even stronger/Hold out a little longer.”

“White Flag” and “Stuff of Legends” deal with the spiritual aspect of fighting through hard times. In the former song, Daughtry sings, “You know we all got a lot to lose/I won’t surrender, praise the Lord my soul to take/Thank God I live to die another day/…I won’t raise my white flag/ ‘Till I’m through.” And in the latter he says that even though he may face his own demons, he will do so by fighting “with love."

Objectionable Content

We get a glimpse into Daughtry's marriage that, while affirming the goodness of the marital sexual relationship, arguably offers a bit too much of that intimate information. "Just Found Heaven" frames that physical pleasure in spiritual terms, “Sins wash away/Dark turns to light/Your body is a temple so take me inside/I feel no pain, pleasures all mine/You give me a taste of eternal life.” Daughtry also perhaps minimizes the reality of hell when he sings, "Gone all my life/Worried about my soul/Brimstone and fire, stories I've been told/ … I don't really care where I go when I die/'Cause I just found heaven."

“Back in Time” and “Bad Habits” also include references to physical intimacy, and the latter uses cigarettes and drinking as metaphors for sexual indulgence.

We hear seven uses of the phrase "the whole d--n world" on "As You Are."

Summary Advisory

When we face the normal, everyday challenges of life, we have a choice: We can let those struggles get us down, or we can choose to keep moving forward. On Cage to Rattle, Chris Daughtry repeatedly says he’s trying to choose the latter, fighting his way forward through life's inevitably difficult times.

I find the messages of honesty and hope that Daughtry offers here refreshing. We live in a time when bad news almost seems to be welcomed, and tragedy seems to be the first thing on everyone’s mind. Daughtry's songs speak to the anxieties and pressures we face in our everyday lives, but they encourage us to face those issues head on. He boldly declares that he won’t back down from the lies he hears in the world, nor the ones he hears in his own heart. He also unashamedly discusses the loving commitment that he shares with his wife.

Occasionally, his description of marital intimacy perhaps offers a few too many details. And his metaphorical comparison of sexuality to salvation on "Just Found Heaven" definitely needs to be dealt with carefully as well—as do some mild profanities on "As You Are."

So, Cage isn't without a few rattles. On balance, though, those bumps in the lyrical road don't derail Daughtry's consistently positive messages about the power of love and fighting for what matters most.

Plot Summary

Christian Beliefs

Other Belief Systems

Authority Roles

Profanity/Violence

Kissing/Sex/Homosexuality

Discussion Topics

Additional Comments/Notes

Episode Reviews

Credits

Rating

Readability Age Range

Genre

Rock

Author

Cast

Director

Distributor

Network

Performance

Top 5 iTunes album.

Record Label

RCA Records

Platform

Publisher

Released

July 27, 2018

On Video

Year Published

Awards

Reviewer

Kristin Smith

We hope this review was both interesting and useful. Please share it with family and friends who would benefit from it as well.

Get weekly e-news, Culture Clips & more!