20 Gift Ideas for Tweens

Posted by Amoebite, December 8, 2014 12:56pm | Post a Comment

Gift Ideas Tweens

We've got lots of great stuff for tweens at Amoeba, from posters of teen heartthrobs to the latest records by Ariana Grande and One Direction. Here are 20 we think would be perfect gifts for the not-quite-teenagers in your life. 

one direction four cd

For the boy-bander:

One Direction - Four

The fourth album by European boy band One Direction shows added maturity in the lads' songwriting, with help from Good Charlotte, McFly, Kodaline, The 1975, John Legend and Emeli Sande. Features the songs "Steal My Girl" and "Night Changes."

Buy CD | Ultimate Edition CD.

ariana grande my everything cd





For the young diva: 

Ariana Grande  - My Everything

When Ariana Grande emerged with her debut, Yours Truly, it was easy to get excited. Here was a new, young Mariah with real pipes that outshined her cover-girl looks. But the frenetic Disney-pop of her debut occasionally grated. On follow-up My Everything, Grande and her producers have dropped any remembrance of the family-approved teen star with an adult (yet not oversexed) album that lives up to the promise of her voice with a set of smart, millennially charged pop songs. Now that “she’s become who she really are,” as she sings on “Break Free,” Grande sounds liberated and self-assured amid dazzling production that touches on EDM and hip-hop without losing sight of those mammoth pop hooks Grande sinks her teeth into. She’ll give vocal coaches a thrill with her performance on summer anthem “Problem,” her duet with Iggy Azalea. The album is kind of like her hair—sure, it cascades down her back in perfect curls, and you know a bunch of people had their hands in it, but what matters is how effortless it all looks. And sure, anyone can work to put a few great singles together, as she does here, but the in-between songs reveal an artist who is going at 100% all the time, as tracks like “One Last Time” and “Why Try” reveal, with powerful vocal performances that offer some breathing room for Grande to get breathy and vulnerable. At times you want her to reveal a bit more character—it’s still tough to gauge who Grande is, other than a massively talented and confident young woman, something that doesn’t quite jibe with the generic lovesick lyrics she’s saddled with. So while she hasn’t come close to achieving a Beyonce-level marriage of pop thrills and personality, she gets the first part of that equation down pat on My Everything.

Buy CD | Deluxe Edition CD.

the hunger games mockingjay cd

For the young Katniss: 

The Hunger Games: Mockingjay [OST]

This Lorde-curated soundtrack for the new "Hunger Games" flick stands head-and-shoulders above the tween-movie-soundtrack pack, featuring HAIM, Chvrches, Tinashe and more.

Buy CD.

taylor swift 1989 cd

For the pop-rock fan: 

Taylor Swift - 1989

Taylor Swift’s crowd-pleasing country-rooted pop goes bigger and flashier on 1989, but her strength remains in earworm melodies and an appealing personality, trumping the likes of Katy Perry or Jessie J by remaining personable amid the dance beats on tracks like “Shake It Off” and “Blank Space.”

Buy LP | CD | Deluxe Edition CD.

selena gomez for you cd

For the dance-pop fan: 

Selena Gomez - For You

Gomez's first hits collection caps off the first part of the 22-year-old's career, comprising her teen hits with Selena Gomez & The Scene, songs from last year's Stars Dance and two new songs, including new single, "The Heart Wants What It Wants," which displays new maturity to Gomez's work.

Buy CD.

nick jonas nick jonas cd

For the teen-heartthrob fan: 

Nick Jonas - Nick Jonas

Nick Jonas is more than just a rippling set of abs. His vocal chords aren't bad either, and his first real solo album apart from The Jonas Brothers gives him a musical upgrade from his tween pop beginnings, calling to mind Ne-Yo or Miguel with moody pop tracks like "Chains" and "Jealous."

Buy LP | CD | Deluxe CD.

5 seconds of summer cd

For the pop-punk kid: 

5 Seconds of Summer - 5 Seconds of Summer

5 Seconds of Summer update the sound of bands like Plain White T's and Simple Plan on their debut album. Just don't call them a boy band.

Buy CD.

the drums encyclopedia lp



For the budding hipster: 

The Drums - Encyclopedia

Conceived by its members as the fusion between a synth take on The Sound of Music and amelodic No Wave, The Drums craft compellingly tumultuous music on Encyclopedia. Thrilling opener “Magic Mountain” is about as far from The Drums’ first album and its sunny Cure-at-the-beach vibe as you could get, its highwire vocal doing battle against fraught guitars and theramin. You can hear that Sound of Music thing on songs like “I Hope Time Doesn’t Change Him,” a girl-group-style ode to drifting apart with shooting-star synthesizers and misery-laden guitars. “Kiss Me Again” feels a bit like The Drums’ earlier work, particularly the more frantic Portamento, but the newness comes in how adventurous founding members Jonathan Pierce and Jacob Graham allow themselves to be melodically while remembering how great they are at writing hooks like “kiss me again” sung out into infinity. Encyclopedia is definitely more of a bummer record, but there are some really nice classical melodies buried under the mopeyness and experimentation—“Break My Heart” is a great Brian Wilson-style lament, even as it slowly struts off the pier. And when they go full force on the “Face of God,” it’s like a surf song about a tidal wave, as its vocals suggest tragedy and its bassline and synths creep too far upward to tingle at the back of your neck. It’s like the aural equivalent of losing your innocence and becoming bitter, reminiscent of Weezer’s evolution from The Blue Album to Pinkerton, full of catchy tunes that are chewed and spit out. So Encylopedia stings a little, but in a good way. 

Buy LP | CD.

lana del rey ultraviolence lp












For the brooding tween: 

Lana Del Rey - Ultraviolence

Grandiose, campy, over-the-top. Lots of descriptors have been lobbed at Lizzy Grant’s Lana del Rey character and her music. With the release of her second full-length, Ultraviolence, we’ll add a few more to the list: strong, consistent and gorgeous. Though it’s far from a perfect record, Ultraviolence gives some fire to the Lana del Rey camp and dampens her detractors who would deride her as a thimble-deep product of the record industry. The album begins with a pair of expansive, powerful slow-burners that sound like Julee Cruise’s reverbed-out, revisionist ’50s ballads blown out to arena-filling proportions. “Shades of Cool,” in particular, is one spine-tingling moment after another. The music, full of Bond riffs, intentionally schmaltzy strings and walls of reverb, threatens to swallow del Rey’s breathy coo, and that seems like the point. You feel overwhelmed along with her. But that shouldn’t imply that she’s a non-presence. Far from it; who else could sell a pair of cheese-whizzed lines like those in “Brooklyn Baby”? (“Well my boyfriend’s in the band, he plays guitar while I sing Lou Reed. I’ve got feathers in my hair, and I get down to beat poetry.”) It’s easy to throw stones at del Rey when you’re not the intended audience, but to kids listening, these seemingly hamfisted references could be crucial. And a song like “Pretty When You Cry” is a self-pity ballad for young sad girls and boys, queer kids and outcasts to sing into the mirror. We need music like that, and to that end, we’ll take Lana over Pink, Britney or any number of divas that came before her. There are some stinkers, particularly on the album’s second half—songs like “Money, Power, Glory” and “Fucked My Way Up to the Top” fall into the same exploitative traps that some of the aforementioned divas fell into, though there’s an undeniable panache to their crassness. But late album songs like “The Other Women,” with its sultry sax and casual confidence, hold your attention even as the album runs long. Ultraviolence ultimately feels like the kind of album Lana del Rey should make, intentionally big, totally entertaining and cool because it tries to be.

Parental Advisory

Buy LP | CD | Deluxe CD.

lana del rey poster   lana del rey poster

Pair it with one of these Lana Del Rey posters!

logic under pressure lp


For the hip hop fan: 

Logic - Under Pressure

Maryland-based emcee Logic releases his debut album, Under Pressure, 12 tracks with zero featured guests and a whole lot of heart. The album opens with a nice instrumental palate cleanser for Logic to set the table and blast you with a main course of rhymes. Six minutes of pure raps is a fitting introduction to the skills that Logic has been building in the mixtape scene since 2009. Under Pressure, touted as the Good Kid M.a.a.d City of 2014, draws that comparison due to several factors. One, Logic has a similar rhyme style and cadence that contemporary rappers such as Kendrick Lamar, J. Cole, and Drake share. Two, Under Pressure is a story based on a highly cinematic interpretation of the 24-year old's upbringing in Maryland. Check out tracks like “Gang Related” to get the full depiction of his crack addicted and impoverished household. The darkness of the true tales told is as refreshing as Lamar’s take on his own childhood years earlier. Mostly what stands out on this record is the love that Logic has for the game, so to speak. Having studied influential figures like Nas, Big L and A Tribe Called Quest all his life, the pure rhymes that Logic opens his release with are set out to introduce the rapper as just that. A student of the game of rap.

Parental Advisory

Buy LP | CD | Deluxe CD.

the bots pink palms lp

For the garage rocker: 

The Bots - Pink Palms

The Bots make blues-rock cool again with punk attitude and youthful vitality. This is why The Black Keys and White Stripes matter. They may be teens, but The Bots make music that sounds world-weary and cool, taking rock 'n' roll well into the next millennium.

Buy LP | CD.

foster the people supermodel lp


For the future Hollywood kid: 

Foster the People - Supermodel

Foster the People blew up with a huge single that lots of people loved (whether they liked to admit it or not) called "Pumped Up Kicks," a song that basically defines radio-ready with its anthemic choruses and hipster digs. Its accompanying album, Torches, was catchy enough, but it was tough not to wonder if they'd be a one-hit wonder. Supermodel silences that notion with a rash of radio-ready jams that put them in the footsteps of bands like U2, The Killers and Coldplay—bands that, to varying degrees, have been able to show mass ambition while maintaining a distinctive personality. Foster the People aren't quite as distinctive soundwise, but as far as hooks go, they've got us covered. The album opens with a few big-ass songs that the band clearly wants to make their follow-up to "Pumped Up Kicks." "Are You What You Want to Be?" has a huge, singalong chorus made for stadiums, but it's also pretty ornately arranged, with shuffling verses and bits of silence, offering a breather before the next big chorus. Mark Foster pushes his vocals to the limit on "Coming of Age," sounding like a Brian Wilson for the autotune generation. But Foster knows that while he's got to grab kids' attention with his pumped-up songs, keeping them from swiping through to another song requires intrigue, and he uses bits of bossa nova ("Nevermind"), synthgaze (the great if terribly named "Pseudologia Fantastica") and, again, Brian Wilson, on the choral songlet "The Angelic Welcome of Mr. Jones," while still crafting impeccable dance-rockers like "Best Friend." If you can't have your cake and eat it too, no one told Foster the People before making Supermodel.

Buy LP | CD | Download.

the maze runner lp

For the future composer and/or filmmaker: 

The Maze Runner [OST]

John Paesano's spirited score for apoco-teen flick The Maze Runner summons blood-pumping chases and tweenage introspection.

Buy LP | CD.

peanuts crosley turntable


Peanuts Crosley Cruiser Record Store Day Turntable

How cute is this thing? This Cruiser three-speed portable turntable, constructed of wood and bound in a leatherette material, is a briefcase-styled record player that is lightweight and easily transported from place to place. It features built-in stereo speakers so you can listen to your music without having to connect it to a speaker system.

  • Features Peanuts comic panel on top and comic strip on the inside cover
  • Belt-drive mechanism
  • Manual return tone arm
  • Plays at 3 speeds for 33 1/3, 45, and 78RPM records
  • Built-in stereo speakers
  • RCA and headphone output
  • NP6 needle + power adapter included

This item does not qualify for free shipping.

+$20.00 Shipping & Handling to U.S. shipping addresses only.

lady gaga poster

This poster will have the Lady Gaga fan in your life saying YAAAASSSS GAGA!!!

Drake Poster

Drake looks extra dreamy in this shades 'n' denim poster.


lorde poster

Give your Lorde fan this headshot poster and they'll be singing Lorde ya ya ya!


coldplay viva la vida mug
This Viva La Vida mug is great for any Coldplay fan.
See more mugs here.

amoeba fan pack Or, might we suggest this Amoeba Mini-Fan Pack, with an Amoeba patch, sticker, magnet, two guitar picks, two buttons and a postcard! See more Amoeba merch, including T-shirts, here.

Don't like any of these suggestions? Shop our CD & Vinyl, Movies and Merch sections for even more ideas.

Relevant Tags

Tween (1), Tweens (2), Gift Ideas (14), Lists (63), One Direction (4), Ariana Grande (2), Hunger Games (1), Taylor Swift (7), Selena Gomez (2), Nick Jonas (1), 5 Seconds Of Summer (2), The Drums (14), Lana Del Rey (24), Logic (9), The Bots (2), Foster The People (4), The Maze Runner (1), Turntable (7), Drake (25), Lady Gaga (26), Lorde (3)