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

Just because you don’t win American Idol doesn’t mean you won’t go far. Plenty of singers have proven that theory, Jennifer Hudson, Adam Lambert, Chris Daughtry, Clay Aiken and Mandisa among them. And we can add Tori Kelly to that list, too, a singer who didn't even make it into the top 24 contestants in Season 9 of Fox's reality singing competition back in 2010.

But that setback didn't stop her. Kelly has since released two EPs and two studio albums, Unbreakable Smile and her latest effort, Hiding Place.

Composed of eight songs and featuring guest contributors such as Kirk Franklin, Lecrae and The HamilTones, this album is slightly different from her first, style-wise. You might say that it's less pop and more gospel, with a dose of R&B mixed in, too. But Kelly's sweet voice still matches her similarly sweet message as she recognizes that God is a refuge from the ups and downs of life.

Positive Elements

Spiritual Content

Sexual Content

Violent Content

Crude or Profane Language

Drug and Alcohol Content

Other Negative Elements


Pro-social Content

“Soul’s Anthem (It Is Well)” fuses the classic hymn referenced in parentheses with confessions about Kelly’s own personal struggles. She prayerfully sings, “Show me how to trust You/More than with my words or with a song” even in moments when “fear sometimes can leave me paralyzed” or when “the enemy’s against me/Arrows all around me/In seasons of depression.” No matter the struggles, though, she echoes Scripture when she sings, “This fight I’m in is not of flesh and blood/The weapons that I need are all in Your love.”

Similarly, “Just as Sure” says that through every season of life, God still loves us and is faithfully by our side: “Just as sure as winter fades/And then it turns to spring/I believe deliverance, will surely come for me.”

“Questions” poignantly ponders suffering and loss, especially when God can seem—from a human perspective—absent amid such tragedies: “If You care, God, if You’re still there/Bombs falling in Syria/A child dying of AIDS/ … Still we kneeled and prayed/But Heaven can feel silent.” Kelly honestly identifies two potential responses to such horrors, one hardened, the other yielded to God: "What happens when the healing never comes?/Do we stand and curse the heavens/Or lift our hands and feel the sun?”

In “Never Alone” Kelly confesses that life is like a story filled with highs and lows. But, she reminds us, God is always with us along our journey: “I’ve seen many rivers/I’ve walked through some pain/I’ve seen my world crumble/And I’ve carried the shame/But I know Somebody, He calls me his own.”

“Sunday” deals with the temptation to hide our struggles under a facade of spirituality: “Underneath these eyes/Oh, smiles masquerade as pain/ … I’m so far from where they think I am/But when I raise my hands/I’m reaching out for life/Oh, so don’t, don’t let Sunday fool ya'.”

Kelly sings God’s message of hope and love to a broken world in "Help Us to Love": "This world is weeping, hurting, broken and begging for a change/Oh yeah/But still we marching, praying, dying, and things stay the same/When will we see?/ … God, Your love is the cure."

“Masterpiece,” featuring Lecrae, tells us that God is in the process of taking all of our regrets and failures and making us into something beautiful: “When my life is not a melody in the morning/And I feel off beat, yeah/Do You still believe in me?/ … You know how to make all things work together/Crazy how mistakes can be miracles in disguise.”

“Psalm 42” personalizes that chapter from Psalms and focuses on God as our source of life and guidance: “There’s a quiet place/That gives me peace when I’m alone with You/There’s a hiding place/Your Spirit’s always there when I’m confused/Only You can purify/All this world won’t ever satisfy/ … As the deer pants for the water/So my soul, needs you Lord.”

Objectionable Content


Summary Advisory

In a YouTube interview with Zach Sang, Tori Kelly boldly talked about her faith in God and how His centrality in her life led to the creation of this album. She also said that she grew up on gospel music; so when she was presented with an opportunity to work with Kirk Franklin, she jumped at it. Franklin wrote four of the eight songs here, while he and Kelly co-wrote the other four.

That collaboration has yielded an album that unabashedly boasts of the Good News of the Gospel. Beautiful, worshipful songs contain personal confessions as well as asking difficult questions at times. Addressing those themes, Kelly said:

“It is human to ask questions and to admit that I don’t have all the answers. … A lot of times in the church, we’ve been afraid to doubt. … But when I open up the psalms there is so much doubt and so many questions. Doubt is not the opposite of faith, [but] it helps work out your faith.”

Which, in a way, is exactly what this album does: It helps listeners process their belief in God and, as Tori Kelly mentions, to “work out your faith.” Its strong messages powerfully remind us that God is a good Father and the center of our hope.

Plot Summary

Christian Beliefs

Other Belief Systems

Authority Roles



Discussion Topics

Additional Comments/Notes

Episode Reviews



Readability Age Range







Debuted at No. 35.

Record Label

Schoolboy Records, Capitol Records




September 14, 2018

On Video

Year Published



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!