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

In 2012, frontman Jason Wade said of Lifehouse’s last effort, Almeria, "We just knew we had to go back to the drawing board and try something new. We felt like our sound needed to evolve and to change."

It did. A bit. In my review, I noted that the album’s “songs blend Lifehouse's signature acoustic and piano style with genres as diverse as the blues and country.”

Fast-forward a few years, and Wade says this about 2015’s Out of the Wasteland: “There was a kind of unlearning with this album. We wanted to retrace our steps back to the beginning and really find the innocence, that feeling of being 17-year-old kids who get excited about playing in the garage. … We ended up with something that’s an amalgamation of all of our influences, a collection of everything we’ve done for 15 years.”

So … is that a good thing or just a rehash? Well, when it comes to Lifehouse's predominantly upbeat outlook on life throughout its musical career, it’s most definitely good.

Positive Elements

Spiritual Content

Sexual Content

Violent Content

Crude or Profane Language

Drug and Alcohol Content

Other Negative Elements


Pro-social Content

The band’s determination to reinvent is front and center on album opener "Hurricane," which tells us, "Turn the page/Turn the corner/ … We're starting over/I don't wanna live this way." As the title suggests, this song is about standing strong when life's storms threaten to separate us from those we love ("We brave the weather/Hurricane, couldn't take you from me/I'm holding on tight, and I still believe/Ooh, yeah, it just gets better"). Later, Wade says of this relationship (perhaps his marriage to wife Braeden for 14 years?), "We made it through hell and back again." "Central Park" pays more tender tribute to lasting love with, "As sure as the sun going down/I'll always be around/ … I'm afraid of living here without you/My years were made to wrap my life around you/When I'm away, our souls are tied/ … I'll always be yours." Album closer "Hourglass" revisits these themes again, promising, "I said you'll know/You'll know when I give you everything/Everything I am/And we'll go/We'll go together hand in hand/Slipping through the hourglass home."

Another tempest saturates "Flight" ("This storm has been raging"), which prompts Wade to ask for help ("And I need you now/There's too many miles on my bones") before lifting his chin and proclaiming, "No more running, no more hiding/No more hurting, no more crying/ … No more heartache, no more fighting/No more fears, only flying." "Runaways" optimistically announces, "The future is ours untold/We are innocent and brave."

"Firing Squad" presents a complex exploration of working through conflict. We hear, "And now you're on the firing squad/I throw my hands up, I surrender/I don't want to be a fraud/I don't want to be the pretender/And I was like a lightning rod/I was always your defender/We were both right and wrong/I throw my hands up, I surrender." "Wish" deals with someone rebelling against and fleeing from other people's unmet expectations, with Wade saying to his struggling friend, "I wish the best of everything for you/I hope you know that I honestly do" before he asks, "How long can you run/Turn your back on everyone?" and concludes, "Just let me know/When you're tired of being alone." "Alien" then laments feeling like an isolated outsider ("I don't wanna be alone/Always feeling like an alien").

"Hurt This Way" is another layered song that relates the sad story of someone growing up with an abusive, alcoholic father, then challenges someone—perhaps the father, perhaps the son—to let go of pain and shame ("Shine it all, don't be ashamed/Nothing ever stays the same/Why you want to hurt this way?"). In a correctional sort of way, someone is said to be "hell-bent on going back" to this destructive environment.

"Yesterday's Son" finds a man differentiating himself from his parents ("I am not my mother or father") before saying he's strong, whole and not beholden to past hurts ("I am not yesterday's son/I am not broken") and reveling in the inviting road unfolding before him ("I'm a wide-open highway/With room to run").

Objectionable Content

Though the entire song could be read as a cautionary tale (“I should have known better”), a man says of a dysfunctional relationship on “One for the Pain,” "I love you though you're toxic/You've got a wicked hold on me/I've got a car that's full of boxes/But I just can't seem to leave." Lyrics then hint at … something very bad happening ("So take one for the pain/Two to forget her/Three shots fired").

A metaphorical lyric on "Runaways" can be heard as romanticizing running away ("As free as a couple of runaways").

Summary Advisory

Jason Wade says he and his band did indeed recapture that "feeling of being 17-year-old kids who get excited about playing in the garage." But it didn’t prevent Lifehouse's latest from overflowing with the kind of mature perspective on life and love, conflict and perseverance that no 17-year-old could ever articulate.

Plot Summary

Christian Beliefs

Other Belief Systems

Authority Roles



Discussion Topics

Additional Comments/Notes

Episode Reviews



Readability Age Range







Debuted at No. 26 on the Billboard 200 and No. 3 on the rock albums chart.

Record Label





May 26, 2015

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!