"Royals" (CD Single)

Common Sense Media says

Young pop star rejects the lux life in minimalist single.

Age(i)

2
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9
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17

Quality(i)

 

What parents need to know

Positive messages

The song rejects the usual stereotypes of celebrities, saying "we aren't caught up in your love affair" about material things. Lorde represents regular kids showing "that kind of lux just ain't for us."

Positive role models

Lorde, though new to the music scene, is proving to be an anti-glam role model. Her image so far has been carefully orchestrated, with only a few photos of her available, all missing the skimpy outfits and glitz you usually see in young pop stars. Her stage name, Lorde, is a play on the English title, and her publicity shots show her posing similarly to old portraits of royalty, but with a modern twist. She shows that regular people are the new royalty.

Violence

One line of the chorus says "Blood stains, ball gowns, trashin' the hotel room" but it's suggesting that Lorde rejects that kind of celeb culture. Both versions of the video (which are very similar but are edited slightly differently) show two teens practicing boxing. In the U.S. version, one of the boys gets hit in the face and his mouth starts bleeding. In the other, he looks at himself in the mirror with blood dripping down his chin then spits blood on the mirror. He also flicks open a pocket knife at the start of the video, but the knife is never shown again.

Sex

Both versions of the video show two boys without shirts on and one of them sitting up in bed, but it's not sexual in any way. 

Language
Not applicable
Consumerism

The hook drops a lot of luxury brand names like Grey Goose, Cadillac, and Maybach, but it's in reference to what every other song these days talks about. Lorde says she and the kids she represents "don't care. {They're} not caught up in your love affair" with brands.

Drinking, drugs, & smoking

The hook references Grey Goose, which is an expensive brand of vodka, and "trippin' in the bathroom." The video also shows one of the boys light a lighter, but you can't see a cigarette and it doesn't show any smoking.

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that Lorde, a young singer from New Zealand, is the antithesis of your usual young pop star. Her single "Royals" from her upcoming album Pure Heroine shows her and her friends rejecting the party lifestyle, saying "That kind of lux just ain't for us / We crave a different kind of buzz." The video, which has two slightly different versions, shows two teen boys practicing boxing and living a regular but decidedly gritty and unromantic life hanging out with friends and taking the train. With a positive anti-consumerist message, no iffy language or sex, and only minor references to alcohol and violence, this track is OK for older tweens and up.

Parents say

Kids say

What's the story?

New Zealand teen Lorde has just broken into the U.S. pop scene with her mesmerizing single \"ROYALS.\" The song and video show regular working-class teens who proudly claim \"we'll never be royals / It don't run in our blood.\" Rejecting the usual trappings of fame, Lorde proudly sings \"My friends and I, we've cracked the code / We count our dollars on the train to the party / And everyone who knows us knows that we're fine with this / We didn't come from money.\" The song is the perfect anthem for the anti-pop star.

Is it any good?

QUALITY
 

Lorde keeps "Royals" simple and the focus on her powerhouse voice, with only a spare drumbeat and finger snaps accompanying her layered harmonies. The flow of the lyrics and her voice drive the beat, skipping over the list of rejected brands and soaring over the "We'll never be royals" chorus. The song is addictive; try not to listen to it over and over again. It's a promising start to what's sure to be an amazing career for Lorde.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about Lorde's image. Why do you think she chooses to use so many references to traditional royalty?

  • Do you think Lorde is a more positive role model than other pop stars her age?

Music details

Artist:Lorde
Release date:August 5, 2013
Type:Single
Label:Lava
Genre:Pop
Parental advisory:No
Edited version available:No

This review of "Royals" (CD Single) was written by

About our rating system

  • ON: Content is age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • PAUSE: Know your child; some content may not be right for some kids.
  • OFF: Not age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • NOT FOR KIDS: Not appropriate for kids of any age.

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Quality

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Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging; great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging; good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging; good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging; OK learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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What parents and kids say

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Written byAnonymous December 30, 2013
AGE
11
QUALITY
 

Iffy 11+ for this song. The Male Nudity where he's (Bare Chested) so that epic too.

Royals (CD Single) Positive(s): Both 7/10 We are not caught up in your love affair and more in there too. Violence: 1/10 She says "Blood Stains, Ball Gowns, Trashin' in your hotel room." ...and a Video where the guy gets Blood on his face from boxing. Sex: 0.5/10 Male (Bare Chested) Nudity in the Video. But this is a Male Version. Consumerism: 6/10 Grey Goose, Cadillac, Mayback. Drinking, Drugs, & Smoking: 6/10 Grey Goose which is a type of Vodka, ...and off-screen Smoking in the Video. I love this song.
What other families should know
Great messages
Great role models
Too much violence
Too much sex
Too much consumerism
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking
Kid, 11 years old November 5, 2013
AGE
11
QUALITY
 

Everyone at school sings this at one point.

I don't really like this song that much, I just found it boring. My classmates keep singing this and it gets on my nerves. There isn't anything iffy, so it's fine for kids.
Teen, 16 years old Written byrebma97 August 21, 2013
AGE
10
QUALITY
 

Cool Song From New Zealand Singer

This is a pretty cool song; I like how it sounds a bit different from standard pop. It also has positive messages about rejecting the racy image many celebrities use. Content-wise, I think this song is fine for kids.
Kid, 10 years old March 23, 2014
AGE
8
QUALITY
 

Favourite song tying with Demi's a Heart Attack

I've never seen a diamond in the flesh I cut my teeth on wedding rings in the movies And I'm not proud of my address, In the torn-up town, no post code envy But every song's like gold teeth, grey goose, trippin' in the bathroom Blood stains, ball gowns, trashin' the hotel room, We don't care, we're driving Cadillacs in our dreams. But everybody's like crystal, Maybach, diamonds on your time piece. Jet planes, islands, tigers on a gold leash. We don't care, we aren't caught up in your love affair. And we'll never be royals (royals). It don't run in our blood, That kind of lux just ain't for us. We crave a different kind of buzz. Let me be your ruler (ruler), You can call me queen Bee And baby I'll rule, I'll rule, I'll rule, I'll rule. Let me live that fantasy. My friends and I – we've cracked the code. We count our dollars on the train to the party. And everyone who knows us knows that we're fine with this, We didn't come for money. But every song's like gold teeth, grey goose, trippin' in the bathroom. Blood stains, ball gowns, trashin' the hotel room, We don't care, we're driving Cadillacs in our dreams. But everybody's like crystal, Maybach, diamonds on your time piece. Jet planes, islands, tigers on a gold leash We don't care we aren't caught up in your love affair And we'll never be royals (royals). It don't run in our blood That kind of lux just ain't for us We crave a different kind of buzz. Let me be your ruler (ruler), You can call me queen Bee And baby I'll rule, I'll rule, I'll rule, I'll rule. Let me live that fantasy. Oooh ooooh ohhh We're bigger than we ever dreamed, And I'm in love with being queen. Oooooh ooooh ohhhhh Life is game without a care We aren't caught up in your love affair. And we'll never be royals (royals). It don't run in our blood That kind of lux just ain't for us We crave a different kind of buzz Let me be your ruler (ruler), You can call me queen Bee And baby I'll rule, I'll rule, I'll rule, I'll rule. Let me live that fantasy. Above are the lyrics to, tying with Demi Lovato's Heart Attack, my favourite song ever. I love Lorde and I especially love this song!!! Suitable for all kids but I rated it 8 because younger kids might not get it, my three year old sister was confused because she says she doesn't want to be rich but then she says let me be your ruler and my sister was confused because it sounds like she's saying actually i do want to be which is confusing for little kids!!! I love Lorde as I already said but seriously she's amazing! This is probably her best song. Listen now. Well worth the money!!! I rated great messages and great role models because, well, I'm sure you know! You don't need to be rich to be amazing, somebody please tell me that's not a great message?
What other families should know
Great messages
Great role models

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