Thursday, August 13, 2009

Hot Mess - Album Review

Yo, what up, iPod fans! Sorry I haven't updated anything useful in like forever, so let me make up for it with a full-on, track-by-track album review of Hot Mess by Cobra Starship.

1. Nice Guys Finish Last
It's a pretty good starter track for the album... it follows in the footsteps of the lead single. GGGB. Is it anything special? It's not single-worthy, but maybe mix-cd worthy.
2. Pete Wentz is the Only Reason We're Famous
The title of this came from something some disgruntled music fan said to them once. It's a strong track, but has kinda weak, radio-friendly lyrics that aren't anything terribly special. I love the track though - it makes a really good Getting-Ready-For-The-Bar Worthy song.
3. Good Girls Go Bad (GGGB)
This is a stellar track. Absolutely the most single-worthy track on the CD. I love Leighton Meester, and she was the absolutely perfect addition to this track. I'm very glad they chose to include her on this track.
4. Fold Your Hands Child
Eh... this track's okay. It's a bit slower, which kinda cuts the early feel of the album. If you're dowloading it track-by-track and you want to conserve money, feel free to leave this track out.
5. You're Not in on the Joke
This is a nice track... more of a Private Playlist track though, listen to it on your long walk to work.
6. Hot Mess
This is one of the better tracks on the album, but I don't think it's that awesome that the album got named after it... the lyrics are pretty shallow and pedantic (family guy reference!!) but it's still a decent track. Maybe mix cd or getting-ready-for-the-bar worthy.
7. Living in the Sky with Diamonds
This is a really nice disco-infused track with soft vocals reminiscent of their song "The Ballad of Big Poppa and Diamond Girl" from When the City Sleeps, We Rule the Streets.
8. Wet Hot American Summer
This track is nice, but nothing spectacular. It won't be on my playlist, but I'm not sad that I have it.
9. The Scene is Dead; Long Live the Scene
This is a slower track that sounds like something you'd hear more on When the City Sleeps, so it's got a nice Cobra Throwback feel... but more of a Private Playlist track, or a mix cd for someone you've already made a whole bunch for.
10. Move Like You Gonna Die
I've listened to this song a bunch of times, and I still can't make up my mind on how I feel about it. Like... I like it, but it also doesn't feel terribly original for them. It's meant to be another punk club song and I wouldn't be surprised if they put out a video for it... but I don't see it going anywhere.
11. The World Will Never Do
I. Love. This. Song. It's got a whole mess of play count because I love it so much. It's kind of fantastic. ...then again, I think it's one of those songs that gets in my head. I think it's what Cobra would do if they were offered the next Bond theme song. I think it's fly.

12. I May be Rude, but I'm the Truth
Eh, it's not terribly different than the other tracks, but it's still good.
13. Cobras Never Say Die
This song does not live up to it's title. 'nuff said.

As a whole, I actually really like this album... but track-by-track, sometimes it's hard to distinguish one track from another. Cobra hasn't really evolved as much from their last album as I'd expect them to. I kind of miss their Decaydance Punk Rock feel they had with When the City Sleeps, since Viva La Cobra and Hot Mess have a far stronger synth-pop feel than their predecessors:

I also noticed that a lot of albums have themes, and Hot Mess' theme involves referencing past songs. They're only very slight references that may even be coincidental, but for a stark Cobra fan, they're noticeable.

In Fold Your Hands Child, lyrics include "Fuck Shit Up," which is likely homage to their track I Kissed a Boy, and the line "do whatchu gotta do" which is from Pete Wentz is the Only Reason We're Famous (the first track leaked from the album)

In You're Not in on the Joke, Gabe says "I'll only show you what you want to see" and other such lines that give it the same theme and a lot of the same phrases from their song Kiss My Sass from Viva La Cobra.

In The Scene Is Dead; Long Live the Scene, the line "Dance all Night" is repeated, just like in their second single from When the City Sleeps, Hey Mr. DJ.

While I like this album, I think Cobra needs to take a break from touring and really focus on evolving the band. From When the City Sleeps to Viva La Cobra, only just over a year had passed. While they had almost a two year break to make Hot Mess, they never really took a break from touring to really settle down and make new, original material. From When the City Sleeps, I was mildly disappointed in Viva la Cobra, though I loved Guilty Pleasure, My Moves are White (White Hot that Is) and Kiss My Sass. This CD is an awesome CD, but few tracks stick out in my mind like songs from their past CDs have.

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