"Radioactive" (CD Single) Music Poster Image

"Radioactive" (CD Single)



Hard-hitting rock anthem is angsty but clean.
Popular with kids

What parents need to know

Positive messages

Post-apocalyptic fantasy is a bit negative, but one could interpret the lyrics as being anti-pollution and anti-nuclear, if the chorus of "Radioactive" is meant to be literal.

Positive role models

Vague lyrics seem to allude to self-destructive behavior, possibly addiction, and a generally bleak impression of the world.


Music video features a comical but evocative underground puppet-fighting ring, where plush toys fight to the death in front of ravenous gamblers. 

Not applicable
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Drinking, drugs, & smoking

Music video shows a cigar being smoked.

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that "Radioactive" is a dubstep-influenced, post-apocalyptic headbanger that's energetic and angsty but free of iffy content. The track has already been used in several advertisements and video games, which have helped the band gain commercial success and mainstream acceptability. The video features a comical but evocative underground puppet-fighting ring, where plush toys fight to the death in front of ravenous gamblers.

What's the story?

Las Vegas alternative rockers and dubstep dabblers Imagine Dragons have re-released this explosive song, which was first issued as part of their 2012 EP Continued Silence, as the third official single from their forthcoming full-length major label debut, Night Visions. It contains hip-hop and electronic influences and was produced by up-and-comer Alex Da Kid.

Is it any good?


Featuring blistering wobbling bass and a heavy kick-snare beat, RADIOACTIVE is undeniably catchy and cutting edge. While Imagine Dragons are not exactly breaking new ground and could be identified as reminiscent of groups like The Killers or fun., the sound is fresh and distinctive. The lyics aren't particularly inspiring, but they get stuck in your head and are built for stadium-sized sing-alongs. Teens and tweens who like to rock out might like it, or they might think it's too poppy, depending on how they feel about Top 40 radio.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about how different music genres can blend together. What do you think about the combination of dubstep and electronic elements with rock? What are some other examples of this stylistic mashup?

  • "Radioactive" received widespread exposure through its use in an online promo video for the popular video game Assassin's Creed III. How has viral marketing affected the overall media landscape?

Music details

Artist:Imagine Dragons
Release date:March 4, 2013
Label:Interscope Records
Genre:Alternative Rock
Parental advisory:No
Edited version available:No

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Teen, 15 years old Written bydoodlebuggy(: August 25, 2013


It's a FANTASTIC song! I'm not a fan of dubstep or rock, but this is MY FAVORITE song! Honestly, forget about the weird music video or analyzing the lyrics. If you find the song catchy, just listen to it! Overall the song is great, upbeat, and makes you feel good. ♥Imagine Dragons♥
Teen, 14 years old Written byRadioactive❤ July 3, 2013

Positive message in the lyrics

Look. I say ditch the weird video; those rarely ever have anything to do with the song. Guys... Alot of you have it wrong. It's not a meaningless, apocolyptic song. It does have very good message. See Radioactive elements are constantly changing. So, he's saying that he can constantly change, and constantly adapt to the heck life can be sometimes. Life can be horrible, enough to 'make your systems blow' especially sometimes. In the begining I'm waking up, to ash and dust A wipe my brow and sweat my rust I'm breathing in the chemicals I'm breaking in, shaping up, checking out on the prison bus This is it, the apocolypse He's saying he woke upto metaphorical ash and dust, both stuff that can choke you, but next he's saying he tries to shake it off and get away. Next he realises you can't run away from you problems, they are like chemicals in the air. Next, he's preparing for the challenge, but still a bit hesitant and upset. Then he's saying how he feels like it could be the end, the apocolypse of him. I'm waking up, I feel it in my bones Enough to make my systems blow He's awakening, truely excepting the tough spot in life he was meant to have. He can tell from now on things will not be easy, and it would be enough to 'make his systems blow,' per say, that it's so hard. welcome to the new age, to the new age(x2) I'm RADIOACTIVE, RADIOACTIVE(x2) He's now welcoming himself the changes or hardships(the new age), because now he know he can do it. He's radioactive because he knows he is strong enough to withstand it, to adapt, to survive. I wave my flags, I don my clothes, it's a revolution I suppose We're painted red, To fit right in I'm breaking in, shaping up, checking out on the prison bus, This is it, the apocolypse He's trying to conform to the changes, relolutionizing his thoughts to how they have to be now to survive the new challenges. But the world keeps 'painting him red to fit right in.' this means all the people doubting him, trying to ignore struggle, and so it makes him rethink things and his hope is thus torn down for awhile, and once again he feels it could be 'the apocolypse' of him or happiness. [chorus] same meaning as before All systems go, sun hasn't died Deep in my bones, straight from inside He's realising that he really can live on, adapt, and survive(all systems are still working). The sun hasn't died; by this he means through all this, his hope and hapiness has lasted through the struggles so far. Deep in the bones/straight from inside; he's feeling more and more confident that he has it in him to continue through the harsh realities he has been faced with, and he's building up to explain the chorus once more, but with more strenghth. [chorus] same as before, but now he's saying that he WILL make it through, not could.
What other families should know
Great role models
Kid, 9 years old August 13, 2013


reminds me of the hunger games (awesome) it is fine!


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