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 1986, singer Robert Palmer hit the top of the charts with a ditty that admonished fans, "Might as well face it, you're addicted to love." Taylor Swift wouldn't make her entrance into the world until three years later. Nevertheless, Palmer's lyrics perfectly encapsulate the 22-year-old pop country sensation's attitude toward life. If anyone is more in love with love than Taylor Swift, I'm hard-pressed to think of who that might be.

But don't take my word for it.

In the introduction to her fourth album, Red, Swift writes, "My experiences in love have taught me difficult lessons, especially my experiences with crazy love. The red relationships. The ones that went from zero to a hundred miles per hour and then hit a wall and exploded. And it was awful. And ridiculous. And desperate. And thrilling. And when the dust settled, it was something I'd never take back. Because there is something to be said for being young and needing someone so badly, you jump in head first without looking."

There is something to be said about all these experiences. And, as has been the case on her last three albums, Taylor Swift has no problem—at all—saying it.

Positive Elements

Spiritual Content

Sexual Content

Violent Content

Crude or Profane Language

Drug and Alcohol Content

Other Negative Elements


Pro-social Content

"Stay Stay Stay" imagines that a blossoming connection with a suitor might go the distance: "You took the time to memorize me/My fears, my hopes and dreams/ … I'd like to hang out with you/For my whole life." "Everything Has Changed" delights in a serendipitous spark ("'Cause all I know is we said hello/And your eyes look like coming home"). "Starlight" is an innocent love song narrating the story of two people finding each other in 1945. "Begin Again" finds hope after disappointment in a new relationship.

"State of Grace" says of a flourishing relationship, "This is the golden age of something good and right and real." Conversely, " We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together" rightly insists that an unhealthy relationship is, in fact, over. Likewise, "The Last Time" says that the latest in a series of breakups with a guy needs to be permanent.

"Lucky One" is the only song here that doesn't deal with romance. Instead, it reflects on the demands of fame, suggesting that a former star who's traded the limelight for a quiet life in the country has made a good choice.

Objectionable Content

"State of Grace" dismisses a beau's past indiscretions and hints that the singer has some of her own ("So you were never a saint/And I've loved in shades of wrong"). "Treacherous" willingly embraces a dangerous relationship ("This slope is treacherous/This path is reckless/ … And I, I, I like it").

That track also repeatedly alludes to physical intimacy: "And I'll do anything you say/If you say it with your hands/ ... I hear the sound of my own voice/Asking you to stay/And all we are is skin and bone." "All Too Well" also implies a past sexual relationship ("I'd like to be my old self again/But I'm still trying to find it/After plaid shirt days and nights when you/Made me your own"). "Sad Beautiful Tragic" wistfully recalls a former flame, and, again, lightly implies that they once shared more than conversation ("We both awake in lonely beds, different cities").

Swift says yes to a bad boy on " I Knew You Were Trouble.": "You didn't care and I guess I liked that." More of the same shows up on "22," Swift's ode to reckless, youthful impetuosity ("You look like bad news/I gotta have you"). She also says that "it feels like a perfect night" to "fall in love with strangers."

"Holy Ground" is at its core merely a nice song about a budding romance. But Swift's insistence upon describing the relationship in religious terms could be construed as either spiritually insensitive or even a bit idolatrous ("Right there where we stood/Is holy ground"). The song also includes a misuse of the Lord's name ("And, Lord, it took me away"). "Lucky One" includes the word "h‑‑‑."

Summary Advisory

You should be able to see by now why I don't think it's an overstatement to suggest that Taylor Swift is "addicted to love." She's practically become the poet laureate for pop romance these days, penning songs drenched in angst and catharsis with the eye of an obsessive-compulsive journaler.

Thus, looking at the big picture on Red, it's hard to dodge the conclusion that for Swift, love is the only thing that really matters. Indeed, her affection for its feelings borders on religious zeal, especially when she appropriates spiritual language to describe it, as she does on "Holy Ground" and "State of Grace."

But it's exactly that confessional combination of awe, vulnerability and self-awareness—paired with Swift's undeniable penchant for crafting infectious countrified pop hooks—that's proven so compelling for her legions of fans. So much so, in fact, that she's joined 'N Sync, Backstreet Boys and Eminem as the only artists since 1991 to have two consecutive albums sell 1 million or more units the week they released.

Swift never wanders into explicit sexual territory—in contrast to many of her peers. Instead, her songs mostly meander through emotional territory, through the highs and lows of her seemingly endless romantic endeavors. A few times, however, she does hint that those emotions were linked to physical relationships.

At the end of her introduction to Red, Taylor says she's yet to experience love that doesn't "fade or spontaneously combust." Then she adds, "Maybe I'll write a whole album about that kind of love if I ever find it." I sincerely hope she finds that kind of love. But listening to Red, I also wonder whether her deep infatuation with infatuation might actually be hindering her from finding it.

Plot Summary

Christian Beliefs

Other Belief Systems

Authority Roles



Discussion Topics

Additional Comments/Notes

Episode Reviews

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!