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

 
Clean yet emotionally complex tune about a painful breakup.

What parents need to know

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

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.

Violence
Not applicable
Sex
Not applicable
Language

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

Consumerism
Not applicable
Drinking, drugs, & smoking
Not applicable

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.

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?

QUALITY
 

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.

Families can talk 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

This review of "Somebody That I Used to Know" (CD Single) was written by

Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are conducted by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.

Quality

Our star rating assesses the media's overall 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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Kid, 10 years old April 28, 2013
age 8+
 

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 content in here, but it's a bit more on the mature side and little kids won't be able to understand it quite as well. But still, I think I like the message the song is giving.
What other families should know
Great messages
Great role models
Written byAnonymous December 7, 2012
age 17+
 

CSM got it wrong because the use of one act as the other.

Only one Profanity and that is Sc**wed. ...and it does mean sex. Don't even get your kids to listen to this song.
What other families should know
Too much sex
Too much swearing
Kid, 10 years old October 7, 2012
age 9+
 

Gotye GOOD SONG

Good Song. Just so you know I am now an official "strict reviewer" but inthe past I gave alot of 5 stars so now I am more strict. This song is GOOD. It is now a little bit hard to get 5 stars off me now but this is a good song! There is no swearing in this song and this is a clea tune about breaking up with somebody. There is very little profanity but kids 7 and under would not get this song's main point. There is a little bit of violent language like the line, "You didn't have to cut me up" but still this is good. The music video is a bit iffy but I wouldn't worry about it. This is perfect for ages 9 & up. 92% 5/5 star rating.
What other families should know
Great messages
Too much violence
Too much sex

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