"Somebody That I Used to Know" (CD Single)

Music review by
Stephanie Bruzzese, Common Sense Media
"Somebody That I Used to Know" (CD Single) Music Poster Image
Popular with kids
Clean yet emotionally complex tune about a painful breakup.

Parents say

age 13+
Based on 3 reviews

Kids say

age 8+
Based on 13 reviews

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A lot or a little?

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

Positive Messages

An honest, if not necessarily positive or negative, account of a relationship gone sour and the painful feelings that result.

Positive Role Models & Representations

Song is about a relationship that did not work out; it's positive in that both partners agree that they were not right for each other.


No profanity, but one crass line: "Now and then I think of all the times you screwed me over."

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that "Somebody That I Used to Know" isn't a mature single in terms of profanity, sex, substance use, or violence (none of which it has, aside from one crude line about getting "screwed over"). That said, it contains some emotionally complex lyrics about a mismatched couple who go through a painful breakup. For example: "You can get addicted to a certain kind of sadness like resignation to the end, always the end / So when we found that we could not make sense, well you said that we would still be friends / But I'll admit that I was glad it was over." Parents of younger kids may find themselves interpreting the meaning of some lyrics.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult Written byMsMeep August 22, 2012

14+ A bit deppressing

I don't think many kids under 14 really like slow meaningful songs like this. After listening to it for a while you may become a little depressed. Also the... Continue reading
Adult Written bymusic fan2.0 April 18, 2012

odd little video

well i really like this song and hope that these two plan to continue to work together because one without the other would be nothing but this has to be the stu... Continue reading
Kid, 11 years old September 8, 2020

Beautiful song about acceptence

This song is about accepting that a relationship's over. Given all the please-take-me-back songs that are out there, this is a welcome break. I'd reco... Continue reading
Kid, 10 years old April 28, 2013

Sweet Love Song...

This is a good song about a sad breakup. I think that it's sweet and at the same time it's catchy. There isn't any mature or inappropriate conten... Continue reading

What's the story?

\"SOMEBODY THAT I USED TO KNOW\" is the smash single from Gotye (pronounced \"Go-tee-yay\"), a singer-songwriter born in Belgium and raised in Australia. The largely clean song (aside from one mention of getting \"screwed over\") is a male-female duet between Gotye and the singer Kimbra, with the two alternately expressing melancholy feelings about realizing they aren't right for each other.

Is it any good?

From its first light yet mysterious notes, this electro-infused single draws you in. Vocals from Gotye and Kimbra, which range from wispy to powerful, lend further interest to this captivating tune.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about how relationships may occasionally end because two good people simply aren't right for each other. Do breakups always have to be bitter?

  • How would you describe the sound of this song? How is different from other songs you hear on the radio?

  • Are you surprised by this song's popularity? What makes it stand out?

Music details

  • Artist: Gotye
  • Release date: February 26, 2012
  • Type: Single
  • Label: Universal Republic
  • Genre: Pop
  • Parental advisory: No
  • Edited version available: No
  • Last updated: November 11, 2020

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