Self-defined supergroup falls flat.

What parents need to know

Positive messages

Sexist, homophobic, and nasty.


Some violent imagery.


Not really explicit, but sexist and cynical.


The parental advisory sticker is well-deserved.



Drinking, drugs, & smoking

An odd message--lyrics appear to be anti-drug, while also glamorizing getting high.

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that most of the songs here are innocuous, but those that do have offensive lyrics pack a wallop, and the music isn't brilliant enough to make them worthwhile.

What's the story?

Velvet Revolver, a self-defined \"supergroup\" made up of members of Guns N' Roses and the Stone Temple Pilots, get an \"A\" for effort on CONTRABAND, but the whole thing ultimately falls flat. Gratuitous sexist posturing and references to guns and drugs don't help, but they aren't really the whole problem either -- this project reeks of a brand of cynical self-absorption that gets boring really fast. \"All that first-class jet set brings me down, down, down/All that first-class drug sh*t brings me down, down, down,\" the boys lament after calling someone an offensive term for a homosexual on \"Big Machine.\" Poor babies! If it's so awful, why not give it up? How about volunteering at a homeless shelter or a hospice instead? It would do the Velvet Revolver guys a world of good, and save the rest of us from having to hear them whine.

Is it any good?


Some of the performances on "Contraband are excellent. Slash contributes amazing guitar work and vocalist Scott Weiland sings his heart out, supported by a powerful rhythm section. But the arrangements feel old and warmed over, and the lyrics aren't interesting enough to make up for all the obnoxious -- and sometimes offensive -- posturing.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about rock star arrogance, and how -- if they become rock stars -- they should avoid it at all costs.

Music details

Artist:Velvet Revolver
Release date:June 8, 2004
Parental advisory:Yes
Edited version available:No

This review of Contraband was written by

Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are conducted by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.


Our star rating assesses the media's overall quality.

Find out more

Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging; great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging; good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging; good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging; OK learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

Find out more

About these links

Common Sense Media, a nonprofit organization, earns a small affiliate fee from Amazon or iTunes when you use our links to make a purchase. Thank you for your support.

Read more

About Our Rating System

The age displayed for each title is the minimum one for which it's developmentally appropriate. We recently updated all of our reviews to show only this age, rather than the multi-color "slider." Get more information about our ratings.

Great handpicked alternatives

What parents and kids say

See all user reviews

Share your thoughts with other parents and kids Write a user review

A safe community is important to us. Please observe our guidelines

Adult Written byalec_smithers April 9, 2008
Adult Written bygrizmaster1981 December 4, 2012

There is worse rock than this.

Parents should check the lyrics as this is one of those recordings where avoiding certain songs means avoiding the swearing. Honestly this album's content could be tame in comparison to Eminem, Dr. Dre, Limp Bizkit, Marilyn Manson, Dope, White Zombie, DMX to name a few as these artists would by considered not for kids. By the way it seems you guys miss the bulk of the music that's out there. There is a whole bunch of albums out there that need to be looked at that have not yet been reviewed.
What other families should know
Too much swearing
Adult Written bystaticboy88 January 7, 2012

Great rock album suitable for mid-teens

A near five star and one of the best rock albums of the 2000's. It isn't a really harsh PA album...there's a fair amount of coarse language, as well as drug references and yes, some disparaging lyrics about women. Overall though it's fine for teens.
What other families should know
Too much swearing
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking


Did our review help you make an informed decision about this product?

Star Wars Guide