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

Nearly a decade ago, a lanky 20-year old released a collection of acoustic tunes ripe with wistful tales of love and imagination. Fast-forward eight years, and the British singer-songwriter has ascended the pop-music charts to the tune of millions of dollars and many of the last decade’s most notable songs.

Few could have predicted Ed Sheeran’s rapid rise, as he hardly fits the mold of the typical rock star. But it’s a mold that he has successfully shaped around his disheveled, relatable, bloke-next-door image. For most of his career, Sheeran has been accompanied by a simple guitar and the occasional toe-dip into “signing rap,” one of many spin-off genres he has helped popularize. But now his career has taken another turn.

Sheeran’s sixth studio album, the aptly titled No. 6 Collaborations Project, taps into the talents of artists across various musical genres. It’s a list that reads more like a who’s who of the music industry than your normal collaborative effort.

Yet these collaborative efforts don’t always ensure the kinder, confessional content fans have become accustomed to from Sheeran. No. 6 features artists such as Cardi B, Travis Scott, Justin Bieber, Eminem, Chance the Rapper, Young Thug, Meek Mill, 50 Cent, Skrillex and Bruno Mars. Four of the album's tracks earn “Explicit” labels, more than any previous Sheeran album. It's a collaboration that still showcases Ed Sheeran's characteristic charm and boyish wonder … fusing those qualities with explicit content that's impossible to ignore.

Positive Elements

Spiritual Content

Sexual Content

Violent Content

Crude or Profane Language

Drug and Alcohol Content

Other Negative Elements


Pro-social Content

Album opener “Beautiful People” (featuring Khalid) critiques the cultural status quo regarding a person's beauty and worth. “We don’t fit in well/‘Cause we are just ourselves/I could use some help.” The duo warns against modeling our lives after the lifestyle and appearance celebrities who they think have it all together.

Song of Summer candidate “I Don’t Care” focuses on Sheeran and his new wife, as well as fellow newlywed Justin Bieber and his bride. Both of them talk about sticking by their wives’ sides at parties in order to combat anxiety-inducing situations. “'Cause I don’t care when I’m with my baby, yeah / All the bad things disappear.”

“Best Part of Me” and “Feels” tackle the issues of anxiety and doubt within relationships, and they also recognize the hope that comes from trusting that you've found the one. “Baby, the best part of me is you/Lately everything’s making sense too/Oh baby, I’m so in love with you.” It’s clear that Sheeran's been searching for “what’s real” for a while now. And it seems he’s finally found it: “I’ve waited most my life for something real/ Baby, I got the feels for ya.”

“I Don’t Want Your Money” peels back the curtain into Sheeran’s personal life, highlighting the relational tensions created by life on the road: “(She say) I don’t want your money baby, oh/You know I just want your time.” On the track "H.E.R.," sings about how material things can never replace the gift of a person's time and presence, which is something Sheeran promises to change.

Objectionable Content

As noted above, more than a few of Sheeran’s songs include harshly profane language, sexual references and glorifications of illicit substance use. “South of the Border” begins as a typical pop duet between Ed Sheeran and Camila Cabello. Then, as she does so often, Cardi B crashes the party with obscene lyrics referencing oral sex.

On “Antisocial,” Sheeran teams up with Travis Scott in a song that treats their angst and loneliness as an excuse to behave badly: “Don’t give a d---, I’m gonna smoke here/Got a bottle in my hand, bring more though.”

Joined by Eminem and 50 Cent on the track "Remember the Name," Sheeran raps as well, offering head-scratching lyrics such as: “Watch how the lyrics in this song might get twisted/My wife wears red but looks better without the lipstick.” The trio also raps about how they’ve succeeded in spite of their humble beginnings. But braggadocio, profanity and references to alcohol also turn up.

“Take Me Back London” (among other songs) alludes to drug use and self-indulgent behavior: “Spread wings in the clouds, getting high/We ain’t hit a rave in a while.” Similarly, “1000 Nights” (Featuring Meek Mill and A Boogie Wit Da Hoodie) adds, “This the type of s--- we used to dream of (Yeah, yeah)/Bad b--ch look like Mona Lisa/Flippin’ off a yacht in Ibiza.”

Sheeran and Co. often seem to excuse alcohol use, smoking and getting high as coping mechanisms to deal with life's difficulties.

Summary Advisory

Sheeran’s recent marriage to his longtime girlfriend, Cherry Seaborn, forms the thematic foundation for much of the content here. Accordingly, we hear heartfelt promises of protection and realizations of what truly matters in life. That said, Sheeran rarely looks inward, instead opting for a superficial gloss over a relationship’s difficulties magnified by life on the road.

But there are bigger problems to deal with here than Sheeran's superficiality. The guest artists he's included introduce a volume of problematic content that includes references to one-night stands, explicit language and substance abuse. And though he still clings to the appeal of his “I’m just a regular guy” shtick, the entourage accompanying him this time around suggests otherwise.

Listening to Sheeran’s latest album, I can’t help but hear my mother's old adage: “It’s easier for the people around you to change you than for you to change the people you’re around.”

For Ed Sheeran, Mom's wisdom couldn't ring more true.

Plot Summary

Christian Beliefs

Other Belief Systems

Authority Roles



Discussion Topics

Additional Comments/Notes

Episode Reviews



Readability Age Range







Hit 100 million streams in its first three days.

Record Label

Atlantic Records UK




July 12, 2019

On Video

Year Published



Jackson Greer

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!