"Radioactive" (CD Single)

Music review by
Kyle Jackson, Common Sense Media
"Radioactive" (CD Single) Music Poster Image
Popular with kids
Hard-hitting rock anthem is angsty but clean.

Parents say

age 9+
Based on 1 review

Kids say

age 9+
Based on 27 reviews

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this music.

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 & Representations

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. 

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Music video shows a cigar being smoked.

What 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.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult Written byBan Moy May 22, 2015

I love this song!

Parents need to know that this song is age appropriate for most kids, although the video is not necessarily OK for young kids.
Messages: 0/5 none
Role models: 0... Continue reading
Kid, 12 years old January 18, 2014

The music video is HULARIOUS

I was not expecting teddy bears. That's right, theres teddy bears fighting each other in this video. It's hilarious and I can't stop watching i... Continue reading
Kid, 10 years old December 28, 2019

Amazing, but sad for young kids

My brother, aged 6, cried in the music video because it shows plush toys fighting to the death. A great song though, and clean.

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.

Talk to your kids 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

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