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."


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!"


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

Lana Del Rey is smiling on the cover of her fourth major-label release, Lust for Life. And while there is indeed some lust on this effort, for the first time in her career, Del Rey genuinely seems interested in living, too.

The 32-year-old singer has built her controversial career on grim, gothic lyrics often romanticizing death and despair. She's paired those themes with her breathy voice and hypnotically retro, cinematically synthesized sounds that recall some bygone musical era.

Del Rey's signature sound remains very much intact on this dreamy, meandering, 16-song, 72-minute opus. But the smile Del Rey sports on the cover hints at someone who is perhaps beginning to grow weary of her numbed and previously nihilistic perspective on life.

Positive Elements

Spiritual Content

Sexual Content

Violent Content

Crude or Profane Language

Drug and Alcohol Content

Other Negative Elements


Pro-social Content

"Love" says that even though the challenges that young people today face are "enough just to make you go crazy," the presence of love in their lives makes things bearable: "Doesn't matter 'cause it's enough/To be young and in love." The title track, despite some significant problems I'll note below, says that it's better to be "having too much fun" than to "die young."

"13 Beaches" acknowledges the lingering pain of a breakup ("It hurts to love you"), but finds a woman longing for authenticity in her life: "I've been dying/For something real." On "Cherry," she sings, "I said real love, it's like feeling no fear/When you're standing in the face of danger."

"Groupie Love," about a star-struck, slightly stalkerish young woman who's convinced an established musician truly loves her, isn't a positive song. But it seems Del Rey intends it as a cautionary tale about someone who's lost touch with reality as she's embraced a fantasy about her rock-star crush.

"In My Feelings" finds Del Rey struggling to honestly express hard emotions amid a dysfunctional relationship: "Sobbin' in my cup of coffee/'Cause I fell for another loser." To her credit, she eventually resolves, "Gotta leave right now."

"Coachella - Woodstock in My Mind" worries about rising political tensions ("They put out the warning/Tensions were rising over country lines"). It perhaps voices concern for the fate of young and old alike when innocents are swept up into conflict ("'Cause what about all these children/And what about all their parents"). Del Rey earnestly sings about hoping to be someone who, in her own poetically whimsical way, brings people hope: "Maybe my contribution/Could be as small as hoping/That words could turn into birds and birds would send my thoughts your way." Surprisingly, she also muses about what she'd ask God: "A stairway, stairway to heaven/ … Got a million things I wanna say/Like, 'What is it all for? Will it be OK?'"

"God Bless America - And All the Beautiful Women in It" offers a blessing for our country and its women, with Del Rey singing, "May you/Stand proud and strong/Like Lady Liberty shining all night long." "When the World Was at War and We Kept Dancing" wonders, "Is this the end of an era?/Is it the end of America?" Del Rey answers, saying, "No, it's only the beginning/If we hold onto hope/We'll have a happy ending." She also suggests that's what happened during World War II: "We just kept dancing/When the world was at war before."

"Heroin" makes some vague references to that drug, but Del Rey doesn't glorify it. Instead, she sings, "Something 'bout the city/ … Makes me feel like I can change/All of my evil ways." The song concludes, "I'd be lying if I said I wasn't sick of it."

The final two songs, "Change" and "Get Free" express still more surprisingly earnest desires. On the former, Del Rey admits her compassion fatigue ("Lately, I've been thinking it's just someone else's job to care"), before mustering up the willpower to be a positive change-agent herself ("Change is a powerful thing/People are powerful beings/Trying to find the power in me to be faithful"). On the latter, Del Rey sings of mental struggles ("Sometimes it feels like I've got a war in my mind") and taking responsibility for herself ("I never really noticed that I had to decide/To play someone's game or to live my own life"). She sings, "I want to move/Out of the black/Into the blue"—which, for Lana Del Rey, represents forward progress.

Objectionable Content

For all that forward progress, though, there are still some significant issues here. Six songs include profanities, including multiple uses of the f- and s-words, "b--ch" "d--n" and misuses of God's name. And guest rapper A$AP Rocky (who appears on two tracks) uses the slur "n-gga" as well.

On "Lust for Life," the living in question involves a woman climbing the fabled Hollywood sign, then repeatedly instructing her lover, "Take off, take off/Take off all your clothes." Similarly, "Cherry" uses a blend of spiritual and sexual allusions to describe what "real love" consists of: "It's like heaven taking the place of something evil/And lettin' it burn off from the rush." We also hear this odd, fruit-and-alcohol filled description of a man's destructive influence on his besotted partner: "I fall to pieces when I'm with you …/My cherries and wine, rosemary and thyme/And all of my peaches (are ruined)." We hear another possibly suggestive reference to "dripping peaches" in "13 Beaches."

"Groupie Love" references a woman's belief that her sexual escapades with a rock star mean she can read his mind too: "And every time we hook up/I know what you're thinking of." "In My Feelings" describes a woman crying while having an orgasm. And "White Mustang" is full of sexual double entendres about another woman's affair with a famous musician.

"Summer Bummer," about a woman regretting the end of a casual summer fling, also features explicit lyrics from guest rapper A$AP Rocky, as well as his nod to mingling sex and drugs ("She might just become my lover for real/ … Take the whip, two pills on the lips on the real"). Another line, "White lines and black beaches," could also be an allusion to cocaine.

Summary Advisory

Lana Del Rey's latest is hardly problem free. Harsh profanity and suggestive lyrics mar plenty of songs on Lust for Life. If Taylor Swift had dropped this album, we'd be aghast.

That said, Lana Del Rey is no Taylor Swift.

Up to this point in her career, soul-numbing sex, drugs and flirtations with suicide have been frequent topics in her music. There are still sensual indulges here (including a song about shedding clothes on the Hollywood sign … not a good idea). But Lust for Life finds Lana Del Rey longing for something more than empty hedonism.

And for that she deserves credit, even if we can't recommend this album as a whole.

Plot Summary

Christian Beliefs

Other Belief Systems

Authority Roles



Discussion Topics

Additional Comments/Notes

Episode Reviews



Readability Age Range







Debuted at No. 1.

Record Label





July 21, 2017

On Video

Year Published



Adam R. Holz

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!