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Music Review: Cobra Starship – Hot Mess

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My first introduction to Cobra Starship was via the end theme song from the motion picture, Snakes On A Plane. I thought for sure they were a temporary group — one that was created by the cast or crew members (or friends of the cast or crew members) from the movie and written specifically for the film itself.

While the song wasn’t Grammy-winning material on any level, it more than met the standards raised (or lowered, if you will) onscreen in Snakes On A Plane. Therefore, the song was A-OK in my book (as was the movie).

Sometime down the line, the name Cobra Starship came up in conversation. “Ah, so they are real?” I remarked, resulting in that all-too-familiar “You don’t get out much, do you?” look that most of my younger acquaintances give me. Indeed, Cobra Starship was a real group — and their popularity had been on the rise since their debut song was heard in Snakes On A Plane (as it turned out, I was half-right: their first song was written specifically for the film, but the group had formed before then).

And now, after three years and two full-length commercial albums, Cobra Starship returns with Hot Mess. Sadly, the album received a bit of negative attention around the Internet following its street date in August.

Some claimed that the album lived up to its title. Others rambled on how bad the lyrics were. The rest of the haters reported to have suffered ghastly flashbacks of the neon-fused ‘80s from listening to the album (the artwork displays all the colors of the Day-Glo Rainbow). Needless to say, with all of that bad publicity, I had to give Hot Mess a listen.

Honestly, I have no idea what people were complaining about. Hot Mess is a rockin’ album, with beats that make even us old, 30+ folk want to get up and dance. So, what’s all the fuss about?

Hot Mess kicks off with an ode to girls who dig bad boys, “Nice Guys Finish Last” — a tone that is followed through on the third track, “Good Girls Go Bad” (OK, they probably should have spaced these two tracks out a bit further, so I‘ll dock ‘em a point for that one). The overall spirit and fun of the album continues through until the titular song, “Hot Mess,” wherein the album seems to take a breather for a few. Thankfully, the beat picks up again with “Living In The Sky With Diamonds” and carries on from there.

In short: I liked it. The criticism you may have heard or read about the album is unwarranted and unfounded in my opinion (of course, I did like Snakes On A Plane, mind you). Perhaps it’s the lyrical content that people weren’t overly fond of. Well, to be frank, most every modern album I listen to know contains abominable lyrics — that’s pretty much been the status quo since the ‘90s.

Yeah, you’ll be hard-pressed to find anything profound hidden within the words of Hot Mess, too. But then, the basic aim of the entire album isn’t philosophy, now is it?

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About Luigi Bastardo

Luigi Bastardo is the disgruntled alter-ego of a thirtysomething lad from Northern California who has watched so many weird movies since the tender age of 3 that a conventional life is out of the question. He currently lives in Chico, CA with four cats named Groucho, Harpo, Chico, and Margaret. Seriously.
  • Nicolee