Cobra Starship has always been one of those bands that may not be the most musically talented out, but can definitely be the most fun. With a range of party songs and tongue in cheek lyrics, as well as being fronted by the charismatic Gabe Saporta, the Fueled By Ramen band deliver us Night Shades the follow up to their successful 2009 album Hot Mess.
Lead single "You Make Me Feel" ft Sabi, gave us a taste of the direction Cobra Starship are heading in – much like first single off Hot Mess, "Good Girls Go Bad", the song introduces the bands catchy pop tunes with a heavy party vibe thrown in, that generally just want to make you want to get up and dance. Attention caught.
Unfortunately Night Shades does not offer us the diversity nor the clever tongue in cheek lyrics that appeared on the first two albums by the band While The City Sleeps, We Rule The Streets and Viva La Cobra! In comparison to their older music, Night Shades seems to be a half inspired attempt, rather than a progression of any sort. While the songs are admittedly catchy, and definite growers, there just seems to be a tad too much auto-tune, a few too many clichéd lyrics and some sporadic monotony thrown in, and as a whole just doesn’t work.
Having said that, there is a few stand out songs with that trademark Cobra stamp. "Fool Like Me" gives us a glimpse of the original cheeky charisma lead singer Gabe Saporta holds with lyrics like “Remember that time I blew your mailbox up/I was just kidding about that/I'm sorry that I hit your dog with my bike/ But he's still got 3 legs/ He's gonna be just fine.” "Fucked In Love" slows down the pace a bit, which is a nice break from the dance vibes that are pumping throughout the album, and showcases a slightly different side lyrically to the band, with more thoughtful and emotional lyrics. However "Disaster Boy", featuring vocals from keytarist Veronica Asher, sounds like a bad song Glee would do in a futile attempt to get to Nationals. Not a good thing.
All in all, Night Shades is a solid effort from Cobra Starship, if not a disappointing one. Compared to previous CDs it falls flat in terms of entertainment, but a few songs on the album give hope that the old Cobra is still buried inside those techno beats somewhere, writhing to get out.
Review Score: 5/10