Teenage Dream

Music review by
Stephanie Bruzzese, Common Sense Media
Teenage Dream Music Poster Image
Parents recommendPopular with kids
More sex, hardcore partying on pop star's second CD.

Parents say

age 12+
Based on 17 reviews

Kids say

age 12+
Based on 64 reviews

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A lot or a little?

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

Positive Messages

Though this album includes some songs ("Last Friday Night", "California Gurls") that glamorize hard, irresponsible partying, it features other tunes like "Firework" that have a positive, inspirational message: "Baby you're a firework, come on, show 'em what you're worth / Make 'em go 'oh, oh, oh' as you shoot across the sky." 

Positive Role Models & Representations

In light of all the casual sex and drinking discussed in Perry's songs, it's hard to call her a role model. In her personal life, however, she maintains a solid, committed relationship with the comedian Russell Brand.


Lots of sexual innuendo. For example, from the song "Peacock": "Are you brave enough to let me see your peacock? / What are you waiting for, it's time for you to show it off / Don't be a shy kinda guy, I'll bet it's beautiful."


Some f-bombs.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Plenty of talk about drinking, plus the song "Circle the Drain" deals with drug addiction.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that this album includes several songs with strong adult content. Casual sex and hardcore partying are discussed in several tunes, and the f-word is used in a few tracks. The only difference between the explicit and edited versions of the record is that the latter bleeps out the f-bombs. While there are a handful of redeeming songs that emphasize self-esteem and not settling for less, this album is generally not meant for younger teens.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Parent of a 10 and 12-year-old Written bywhanner6 July 7, 2013

Almost every song has a strong SEXUAL context.

Katy Perry is an amazing singer. Many of the songs are super 'catchy' and have a great beat. But the problem is, that unfortunately, most of her son... Continue reading
Adult Written byparentreviews53 July 23, 2012

Encourgement is in this....

Other than the sexual references, many of the songs give positive encouragment on standing out and being yourself. I don't reccomend the song "Peacock... Continue reading
Teen, 15 years old Written bytheatrekid April 21, 2021

Only 8+ For A Reason

So this album was popular while I was a young child and I listened to it a lot because I was unaware of its strong sexual themes. It’s pure pop, all about love... Continue reading
Kid, 12 years old October 18, 2020

The best album so far!!!!

Some songs have sexual themes but not too sexual for mature tweens.

What's the story?

Following up on her smash debut album, One of the Boys, sultry pop singer Katy Perry has released her sophomore album, TEENAGE DREAM. Content-wise, the new record is a lot like the old -- with Perry once again including several shockers that rival her infamous tune "I Kissed a Girl". Several songs feature eye-popping references to casual sex and intense drinking and partying ("There's a stranger in my bed, there's a pounding my head ... I smell like a minibar, DJ's passed out in the yard"). These songs overshadow others that actually have a positive message, like the self-esteem anthem "Firework," putting the record ultimately out of reach of impressionable tweens and young teens.

Is it any good?

To write and produce most of this album, Katy Perry brought in big guns like Max Martin and Dr. Luke, both of whom have worked with other huge pop stars like Kelly Clarkson and Pink. The approach paid off for Perry in a super infectious collection of songs that you want to hear over and over again. Highlights include the excellent summer anthems "California Gurls" and "Teenage Dream," along with the booty-shaking "Peacock."

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about what can happen when you engage in adult behaviors before you're an adult. Can you think of some potential repercussions that could result from having sex at a very young age?

  • What are the consequences of underage drinking?

Music details

  • Artist: Katy Perry
  • Release date: August 24, 2010
  • Label: Capitol
  • Genre: Pop
  • Parental advisory: Yes
  • Edited version available: Yes
  • Last updated: November 11, 2020

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