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

Can you be famous without being, well, famous? Australian singer Sia Furler is giving it her best shot. In a world in which image is everything for celebrities, Sia (pronounced see-a) is attempting to promote her sixth album, 1000 Forms of Fear, without using any pictures of herself.

You won't see Sia's face on the chart-topping album's cover (just her trademark blond bob hanging over emptiness) … or anywhere else related to its promotion, for that matter. She was recently featured on the cover of Billboard magazine with a bag over her head. And in live performances on The Ellen DeGeneres Show and Late Night With Seth Myers, she sang her Top 20 hit "Chandelier" either facing a wall or lying facedown on a bed while other people wearing wigs mimicking her haircut dance and perform for the audience.

In an interview with dazed.com, Sia said, "I already have a much larger concept for this album and for how I'm going to present it and that was: I don't want to be famous. If Amy Winehouse was a beehive then I guess I'm a blonde bob. I thought, Well if that's my brand, how can I avoid having to use my face to sell something? So my intention was to create a blonde bob brand."

Sia's unusual approach seems to be more than just creative performance art. Following her fifth album, the singer, who's penned hits for Rihanna, Eminem, Britney Spears, Flo Rida, Beyoncé, Christina Aguilera and Madonna, was nearly crippled by her growing success. Her phobic aversion to attention contributed to a downward spiral into drug and alcohol addiction as well as a suicide attempt in 2010. Since then, she's been diagnosed as having bipolar disorder and has begun working to get sober and stable.

Stars who've collaborated with Sia insist her deep personal struggles enable her to connect with them and with her audience in a deeper way. "I fell in love with the way she looks at life," Britney Spears has said. "There is a bit of darkness somewhere in there, but it doesn't come across in a frightening way."

But what happens when that "bit" of darkness makes its way onto an album? An album called 1000 Forms of Fear? An album on which Sia unpacks the myriad anxieties that haunt her heart?

Positive Elements

Spiritual Content

Sexual Content

Violent Content

Crude or Profane Language

Drug and Alcohol Content

Other Negative Elements


Pro-social Content

"Dressed in Black" is easily (and ironically) the brightest spot on this 12-song set. On it, Sia praises someone who has loved her out of the darkness ("I was imprisoned by dark/You found me dressed in black/ … You started breaking down my walls/And you covered my heart in kisses/ … Life had broken my heart, my spirit/And then you crossed my path/You quelled my fears, you made me laugh").

Full of references to drinking until you pass out, "Chandelier" actually seems to be a confessionary, cautionary tale about how Sia's fears drove her into addiction. She sings, "One, two, three, one, two, three, drink/ … Throw 'em back 'til I lose count/I'm gonna swing from the chandelier, from the chandelier/I'm gonna live like tomorrow doesn't exist/ … I'm gonna fly like a bird through the night, feel my tears as they dry/ … But I'm holding on for dear life/ … Keep my glass full until morning light, 'cause I'm just holding on for tonight." And when the sun rises the next morning, she flatly adds, "I'm a mess/Gotta get out now, gotta run from this/Here comes the shame, here comes the shame."

"Big Girls Cry" admits that even a "tough girl in the fast line" sheds tears when her heart's broken. In the wake of a hard breakup on "Eye of the Needle," Sia steels herself against fear with the line, "I won't let the terror in." She says she wants a man she can respect on "Fair Game," and she seems to find someone who cares for her despite her flaws. She encourages a struggling friend on "Burn the Pages," advising that person to let go of the past ("Yesterday is gone, and you will be OK/ … Yesterday is dead and gone, and so today/Place your past into a book/Burning the pages, let 'em cook").

Objectionable Content

Alcohol is once again where Sia turns to numb herself on "Big Girls Cry." And "Hostage" finds her in emotional (and perhaps literal) bondage to a lover ("You make me cry, and you make me come/ … Put me in cuffs/Lock me up/I'm held hostage by your touch") whom she fears has other lovers as well ("The secret life/Of lovers who have others/Under the covers/ … You break my heart").

Darker still are "Straight for the Knife" and "Free the Animal," both of which mingle imagery that blurs the lines between violence, death and sex. On the former, Sia sings of her cravings for a sexual encounter ("Wore pretty underwear/Hoping you might take it off") with someone whose response to her is described in violent terms ("You went straight for the knife/And I prepared to die/Your blade, it shines/ … You turned the gas on high/Held the flame alight/You wonder why I'm scared of fire"). On the latter song, Sia again frames sexual passion in murderous, violent terms: "Wanna put my hands through you/I'll squeeze you until you take your last breath/Loving you to death/ … Detonate me/Shoot me like a cannonball/ … Kill me like an animal/Decapitate me/Hit me like a baseball/Emancipate me/Free the animal/ … I'll kill you with my loving." Pleasure and pain continue to mingle on "Fire Meet Gasoline."

Sia describes herself as malleable and stretchable on "Elastic Heart," which may or may not be a good thing. And "Cellophane" pulsates with hurt and desperation as she tells a lover, "Can't hide the pain," after which we hear, "While I fall apart, you hide all my pills again."

Summary Advisory

Sia wades through difficult feelings and is determined not to let disappointments cripple her on quite a few of her songs. And I so wish I was able to end this review with that. But in so many other places, her determination is replaced with capitulation and manipulation as her grasp on tenacity fails and she slips into the thrall of murky choices and relationships. Listening to her, you finally feel like you're being sucked into an emotional sinkhole where hurt and numbness, sex and violence all swirl down into the abyss with you.

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 8, 2014

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!