The government is in on the action for New Music Monday. The U.S. Consumer Products Safety Commission has just released a seven-song album geared to the teen and young adult crowd, specifically ages 13-24. The project covers messages on safety for common hazards for the age group, including bikes, ATVs, fireworks, appliances, toys, and even phones. In this review, we go track-by-track on the project, “We’re Safety Now Haven’t We.”
The Album: We’re Safety Now Haven’t We
In a surprise release, the U.S. Consumer Products Safety Commission has entered the viral music scene with this 7-track album for teens and young adults, loaded with TikTok-worthy soundbites. This album brings high-quality production and timely lyrics highlighting safety issues in a way that will get stuck in your head. All of the tracks are available and downloadable now for free on the USCPSC website, poised and ready to be part of your next viral video.
Protect Ya Noggin’
Motivated by the staggering number of annual micromobility accidents and the resulting head injuries, the USCPSC presents this track on the importance of wearing a helmet while riding a bike, scooter, skateboard, or skates. “Protect Ya Noggin'” is available in both English and Spanish, making up the first two tracks on the project.
The hook says it all! This fun hip-hop/rap/pop track spells it out for you. “When you’re in these streets, take caution. Protect your neck and your noggin.” I love the subtle Wu-Tang reference and the fun, upbeat energy from this track. The lightly disguised safety address is packed with memorable, timely, and somehow reminiscent lyrics. Well done!
For the Spanish speakers, the US CPSC has you all hooked up, too! Check out the Spanish language version of “Protect Ya Noggin” here.
The next song is an EDM banger that will get your head bobbing. It might even encourage you to cut some shapes with your phone safely tucked away. It’s no surprise that the 13 to 24-year-old group has racked up an incredible 5,100 injuries in incidents involving phones while moving between 2013 and 2022. Given the statistics, the critical message in “Phone Away” is that you sometimes have to put your phone away.
The electronic house track lists scenarios when you should put your phone away without getting too deep into the reasons why. The playful piece leaves room for this bouncy piece to weave its way into your permanent memory with repetitive beats, lyrics, and a hook that keeps it light and straightforward. The message does not come across as a nagging warning but rather a fun reminder, which will be well received by the intended audience.
Se Pone Caliente
“Se Pone Caliente” is a reggaeton track in Spanish and English, mixing clever lyricism about fire, passion, and safety. It reminds us of the early 2000s era reggaeton wave in pop music, with mixed language tracks overtaking the radio waves in the northeast. The safety message is ever present, but cleverly integrated into a reggaeton love story in an unobtrusive way. We can’t enough of this track and the incredible hook, “I’m cautious of your love because our love is a flame.”
Going Off Like Fireworks
The pop/dance track “Going Off Like Fireworks” is a little more blunt in the messaging and lyrics. If you think about it, isn’t that how pop music goes anyway? People get injured by fireworks every year, and there are safer ways to enjoy them. This song drives the point home with a youthful and bright message. The drumline introduction gives that Fourth of July feel and drives the celebratory energy of the track. Almost every single line of the song touches on the excitement and potential danger of fireworks if not appropriately handled. While not my favorite song on the album, it still has a chance to hit with the younger crowd, given its strong hook and high energy.
Off Road Adventure
Off Road Adventure is a spoken word/rap EDM song about the proper use and safety needed for operating and enjoying ATVs. The revving engine and beeps throughout the track add fun elements. The lyrics list important reminders about doing it right. Between this track and “Phone Away” the CPSC has the beginnings of an incredible music festival set. Can that be a thing? Would you go to a safety set? Sign me up.
Beats to Relax/Be Safe To
The final song on the album is “Beats to Relax/Be Safe To.” The title alone hints at past successful rap albums with conceptually similar titles, but a low-key vibe. It’s a Lofi hip-hop track fit for any Lofi playlist, that we are most definitely adding to Photobombshell’s Lofi Smoke playlist because it’s vibey. The lyrical samples come from one of the earliest toy PSAs from the agency, and the suggestion that a marshmallow might be a safer option for a toy: cue 2023 and the height of the Squishmallow era. The energy is smooth and comforting, like a marshmallow. You’re going to love it.
Connect with the USCPSC
The project is surprising, in that it isn’t a lame, dry, cautionary project. It’s relatable and fun, perfectly geared toward young adults and teens, and even some corny parents who love the messages. Get more information, safety facts, project details, and more, including free downloadable and streaming tracks at https://www.cpsc.gov/music.
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