A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this music.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that "Not A Bad Thing" is a sentimental track from Justin Timberlake's 2013 album, The 20/20 Experience -- 2 of 2. It's a sappy, romantic pop song with an even cheesier music video that follows two filmmakers searching the globe for a couple who orchestrated a public wedding proposal by playing a Timberlake song on cell phone speakers on a New York City subway train. The album version has "f--k" in the chorus, but the radio version (and that which accompanied the video that premiered on The Ellen DeGeneres Show) has no iffy content, other than heavy marketing that includes a hashtag campaign.
- Parents say
- Kids say
What's the story?
NOT A BAD THING is the fourth single from Justin Timberlake's The 20/20 Experience -- 2 of 2, the second installment of a two-part studio album released in 2013. Featuring production by studio luminaries and frequent JT collaborators Timbaland and J-Roc, "Not A Bad Thing" is a sweet pop song about believing in love and overcoming heartache. The music video, which presents itself as a mini-documentary, finds a team of filmmakers searching for a couple who got engaged in public on an MTA train while playing a Justin Timberlake song on cell phone speakers. They've set out to find the couple by starting a viral campaign, complete with its own hashtag, "#haveyouseenthiscouple".
Is it any good?
In the music video, the song is barely audible in the background, while "real couples" are interviewed about the meaning of love and wedding proposals. The fact that the song itself is an afterthought in its own music video is a pretty good indicator of how uninspiring and generic the track is. Maybe it's cute, maybe it's sweet, but at the end of the day it's just another forgettable pop song from an artist who released too much all at once without bothering to control the quality. The music video feels so phony and contrived that any warmth from the quotes or images is lost in the overpowering aura of marketing.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about what makes a video go viral. Do you think the carefully constructed marketing of this video campaign impacts the song's artistic credibility? Explain.
What do you think of the use of hashtags by media companies to help their content "trend" on social media?
How has Justin Timberlake's career evolved since his NSYNC days? Why do you think he has maintained his popularity, when other icons from the Boy Band era have faded?
For kids who love pop stars
Our editors recommend
Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.