A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this music.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that while this song has a cheery melody, it's about a kid with a cowboy-like fantasy who thinks it's cool to smoke and wield the gun he finds in his dad's closet. Though there's no profanity in the tune, its messages about violence and smoking make it somewhat iffy for younger kids.
What's the story?
\"PUMPED UP KICKS\" is a pop tune by hipster group Foster the People that revolves around an old-time cowboy fantasy, with a kid who thinks it's cool to smoke threaten others with the gun he finds in his dad's closet: \"All the other kids with the pumped up kicks you'd better run, better run, outrun my gun...faster than my bullet.\"
Is it any good?
"Pumped Up Kicks" is the kind of song that gets stuck in your brain. You can't help but like the bouncy pop hook, with part of the lead vocals sporting a muted, megaphone-like sound that adds even more appeal. Aside from the fact that the lyrics are about guns and smoking, it's a fun, upbeat song.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about the contrast between this song's lighter musical tone and its darker messages. Why might the band have paired lighter music with a deeper message? Is it possible that the talk about smoking and shooting is just a joke?
Is it ever OK to joke around about something as serious as shooting another person? Why or why not?
For kids who love cool tunes
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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.