A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this music.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that "Payphone" is a catchy anti-love song about a past relationship and does have some profanity ("f--k" and "s--t") sung by Adam Levine and featured rapper Wiz Khalifa. There's a clean version available.
- Parents say
- Kids say
What's the story?
Is it any good?
Yes, "Payphone" has its lyrical and melodic moments, much like most of Maroon 5's tunes, but it lacks a depth and purpose. Like "Moves Like Jagger," "Payphone" is fun and singable, but it doesn't go much beyond that. Wiz Khalifa adds a little spice, but not enough to make this single memorable. Like its namesake, "Payphone" may be obsolete in a few years, but for now, it's there if you need it.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about the fact that profanity is becoming more and more common in mainstream music. Do you think it's OK for radio stations to play songs with the bad language cut even when it's still obvious what bad word is being said?
Levine debuted this song on the hit show The Voice, on which he is a celebrity judge. What do you think of that as a marketing strategy?
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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.