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.

Track Review

This is the story of a girl.

She goes by the name of Alice Merton. Born in Frankfurt, Germany, Merton has bounced from Europe, to the United States, to Canada and a few other places in between. She's lived in 11 different cities in four countries, and she's just 23.

This nomadic artist, while she's struggled to call one physical place home, has still found her footing in the world of alternative music. And it’s quite a footing: She’s the first female solo artist since Adele back in 2015 to top Billboard's Alternative Songs chart. And she's the first since Lorde in 2013 to reach the top of that chart with her first single.

Merton, it turns out, wrote her very first tune, "Little Lighthouse," at the tender age of 16. She told Billboard, "My first song ... was basically just about finding my way back home." Seven years later, rock-fueled “No Roots” expresses a similar sentiment. Here, Merton belts out a wanderlust anthem that insists our true place in this world can never be defined by our location on a map. (And that's a message that's just now connected with American listeners, more than a year after this slow-burner's initial release.)

Here, There and Everywhere

"No Roots" begins with a catchy guitar line that recalls The White Stripes’ similarly infectious “Seven Nation Army.” “I like digging holes and hiding things inside them," Merton tells us. "When I grow old I hope I won’t forget to find them.” These lyrics suggest that she's left a piece of herself everywhere she’s ever been. And her always-roving existence doesn't seem to be over just yet: “I’ve got memories and travel like gypsies in the night.”

In fact, Merton is so accustomed to this nomadic lifestyle that whenever she moves into a home, “I wait for someone to tear it down/Then pack it up in boxes, head for the next town, running.” She seems to be driven by an innate fear of connection, one that won't let her stay in one place for too long. It's a path she knows all too well: "And a thousand times I've seen this road/A thousand times."

Not surprisingly, the song's chorus then exclaims: “I've got no roots," though Merton quickly adds, "but my home was never on the ground.” A line like that offers room for interpretation. But (as we'll soon see) she's saying that when you're never in one place very long, you realize that your roots are really in your cherished relationships, with those you love. And as Merton sings these lyrics in the song's accompanying video, she’s pulled out of one room of an urban apartment and into another, further symbolizing the reality that she's always moving.

Elsewhere in the song, Merton confesses, "I like standing still," even though she's quick to add, "but that's just a wishful plan.” And if you asked her “where I come from,” she’d tell you she’s from “a different land.” Because, really, she is. From Europe to the United States and everywhere else, she’ll “count gates and numbers, then play the guessing name” in each new home. But be assured that “it's just the place that changes, the rest is still the same.”

Now, all that might sound just a bit depressing. But Merton playfully belts out those lyrics as she dances from room to room in the video. The result? A video that's less about the sadness and loss of moving around so much, and one that seems more about just giving viewers and fans a sense of Merton's perspective. Indeed, in an interview with Nylon, she said, "If you listen to the song, you basically know my story."

Where the Heart Is

Slightly melancholy vibe aside, there is something very sweet about this song. Merton boldly, honestly voices the difficulties in moving often, and all of the feelings associated with constant change. She shared with Billboard that she loves “writing about things I know, and I like to be very honest in my music.”

And open and honest she is, saying of this song's inspiration, "I was on the beach, and I was just thinking to myself that I have no one place where I actually feel like I’m at home ... I came up with the idea of having no roots—never being grounded to a certain place, but having your home with people who you love."

I think this is a great message for those who move often, as I myself did as a child. Moving is tough and change is hard, but it’s rewarding when you realize that home is not a physical location, but rather something that's found within the arms and hearts of those you most cherish.

Positive Elements

Spiritual Content

Sexual Content

Violent Content

Crude or Profane Language

Drug and Alcohol Content

Other Negative Elements

Conclusion

Pro-social Content

Objectionable Content

Summary Advisory

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

Author

Cast

Director

Distributor

Network

Performance

Topped Billboard's Alternative Songs chart and reached No. 4 on the rock chart.

Record Label

Paper Plane Records

Platform

Publisher

Released

December 2, 2016

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!