"Classic" (CD Single)

Music review by
Kyle Jackson, Common Sense Media
"Classic" (CD Single) Music Poster Image
Catchy, corny pop song captures the retro-loving zeitgeist.

Parents say

age 9+
Based on 1 review

Kids say

age 7+
Based on 6 reviews

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this music.

Positive Messages

Cute and predictable lyrics flatter a girl, essentially by saying she's a classic beauty. There's also a vague critique of consumerism, bemoaning "a world gone plastic."

Positive Role Models & Representations

The pop-savvy MKTO boys are likeable, marketable, and talented, both in their careers as TV stars and now in the music world.


In the cute and harmlessly seductive lyrics, singer Tony Oller references past icons of sexy music, with a chorus of "I wanna thrill you like Michael/ I wanna kiss you like Prince/ Let's get it on like Marvin Gaye/ Like Hathaway, write a song for you like this." 


There are lyrical shout-outs to "Cadillac" and "5th Avenue diamond." A slew of movie stars and pop stars are rattled off, including Marilyn Monroe, Sinatra, Audrey Hepburn, and Beyonce. The harmless but slightly off-putting music video simulates a speakeasy or retro casino scene, complete with confetti, breakdancing, and "making it rain" (throwing paper money in the air).

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

There's a lyrical reference to "tripping in the '60s." In the music video, there are some "classic" cocktails around on tables, but no direct liquor images or brands.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that "Classic," the hit single from pop duo MKTO who got their start in the Nickelodeon TV show Gigantic, is a cute and catchy song about embracing retro styles and trying to stand out and be authentic in a "world gone plastic." There are a few mildly sexual lyrics, which include "I want to thrill you like Michael/ I want to kiss you like Prince/ I want to get it on like Marvin Gaye"; a line about "tripping out like the '60s"; and the video shows a few "classic" cocktails -- but these references pay homage to classic eras of the past and overall the song is tame enough for older tweens.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult Written byRosebud95 May 10, 2014

I like it

It could do without the rap, and it could've been longer, but I like the song, and how it has sort of a Motown-sound to it.
Teen, 13 years old Written byBookLover489 January 7, 2021

Classy, Catchy Song is One of My Favorites!

This is one of my favorite songs with its clean lyrics and a melody that sticks in your head (in the good way!). The song tells a story about a guy wooing a g... Continue reading
Kid, 11 years old February 16, 2019

What's the story?

"Classic" is the second hit single from breakout pop/rap duo MKTO, which is made up of two former stars of Nickelodeon's show Gigantic, Malcolm David Kelley and Tony Oller. Oller handles the singing duties, doing his best Justin Timberlake impression, while Kelley backs him up and adds a brief rap verse. The song celebrates classic beauty in a world "gone plastic" with shout-outs to various historical eras and figures like Sinatra, Marilyn Monroe, Hepburn, Prince, Beyonce, and Marvin Gaye.

Is it any good?

The song is bouncy and clean, sort of like a mix between MGMT's smash-hit "Electric Eel" and Capital Cities' "Safe and Sound." However, the lyrics are corny to a fault, the rap verse is weak, and the whole thing feels very inorganic and commercial. It's not bad pop music, it's just not great either.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about the concept of "retro" and why cultural artifacts from the 20th century have so much appeal to young people. How does music and art from the past help people feel connected to history?

  • The guys in MKTO were TV stars before they started making music together. Does it matter to you if entertainers are involved in multiple fields? Why do you think so many actors from Nickelodeon and the Disney Channel have gone on to have successful second careers in music?

Music details

  • Artist: MKTO
  • Release date: April 2, 2014
  • Type: Single
  • Label: Columbia
  • Genre: Pop
  • Topics: Music and Sing-Along
  • Parental advisory: No
  • Edited version available: No
  • Last updated: November 11, 2020

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