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A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this music.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Justin Timberlake's single "TKO" is an uninspired and unoriginal pop song that likens romantic turmoil to a fist fight. The seven-minute single uses some profanity, including the words "s--t" and "damnit," and includes a few sexual references ("This rematch sex is amazing," "She kills me with the coochie-coochie-coo," a reference to women's private parts).
- Parents say
- Kids say
What's the story?
TKO is the second official single from Justin Timberlake's second album of 2013, The 20/20 Experience (Part 2 of 2). The track is quite long for a single, clocking in at 7:08, with several verses and choruses all sung in pitch-perfect falsetto by the former *NSYNC star. Produced by hip-hop savants Timbaland and J-Roc, the song is a slow and seductive lament that compares the ups and downs of a relationship to the beatings sustained in a fight.
Is it any good?
JT is notably lacking the swagger that has made him an icon. The lyrics are repetitive and heavily reliant upon weak metaphors and predictable songwriting, and the production is uninteresting at best, monotonous at worst. Die-hard Timberlake fans will go crazy for anything he sings in that sweet voice, but it's hard to see why he felt the need to release a full sequel to his already long album.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about Justin Timberlake's strange career arc. How has JT been shaped by and contributed to mainstream pop culture during the past decade and a half?
"TKO" is the second single from the second installment of his 2013 album The 20/20 Experience. Why do you think Timberlake decided to release two full-length albums in one year after several years of inactivity?
For kids who love Pop and R&B
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Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.