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Friday, February 22nd
The Critics Corner: Albums
All Time Low
Cobra Starship- 'Hot Mess'
Appeal and catchiness unable to overcome generally monotonous second effort
Leave This Town
Name: "Hot Mess"
Label: Fueled By Ramen/Atlantic
Release Date: August 11, 2009
My rating: 3.7 out of 5

Review written by: Stacie Sullivan
After Gabe Saporta’s voice problems, fans were skeptical about what the future held for Cobra Starship.  Any doubts that fans had about Saporta’s recovery were proven wrong when Cobra Starship hopped on tour this past Spring with Fall Out Boy.  Now that “Hot Mess” is being released the fans have been reassured that Saporta’s voice is in mint condition and Cobra Starship is here to stay.  Cobra Starship has been known for their catchy songs and their fun personalities that reflects into their music.  “Hot Mess” is definitely no exception.  For quite some time fans have heard the band talk about the release and how all of the songs are fun, dance songs that shouldn’t be taken seriously.

The album opens with the song “Nice Guys Finish Last.”  The song has an attention grabbing opening and stays catchy throughout the entire song.  “Nice Guys Finish Last” sets up the album to be something very different than what Cobra Starship has done in the past.  From first impression the listener can tell that Saporta’s voice has changed as well as Cobra Starship’s overall sound. 

“Pete Wentz Is The Only Reason We’re Famous” is a song that fans have heard Cobra Starship joking around about in the past for quite some time.  The song opens with a cinema sound effect and leads into a very upbeat and catchy song.  The song is about how Cobra Starship has gotten their name out there and it also tells a funny story. 

“Good Girls Go Bad” is the band’s newest single.  The song is definitely a something the listener can dance to and it is just as catchy as all the others.  Leighton Meester does guest vocals in the song which adds a lot of character to it. 

“Fold Your Hands Child” starts out slow and picks up pace in the chorus.  The song adds more versatility to the album by taking a break from the dance songs.  “Fold Your Hands Child” leads into what is sure to be another catchy song, “You’re Not In on the Joke.” This song is different from all the other songs on the album.  Towards the end of the song there are gang vocals that add character to it.  The song then slows down, then yet again picks up pace. 

“Hot Mess” starts out very commercial with an introduction that says “Cobra Starship” then leads into the song.  The song is not your typical love song, but it’s about a girl that’s drunk and a guy falling for her.  It is definitely a catchy song and has a great beat to it. 

At the beginning of “Living In The Sky With Diamonds” the listener can tell how much Gabe Saporta’s voice has really changed.  The chorus of the song adds a different feeling to the album.  “Wet Hot American Summer” is a song that is meant to remind people of Summer and to forget about any mistakes or bad experiences they may have had in the past.  It will definitely be a good Summer jam for many fans.   “The Scene Is Dead; Long Live The Scene” is the slowest song on the album.  The song would have been better without the synth or beats. 

The album speeds back up with “Move Like You Gonna Die.”  The song opens up with a great guitar riff and the listener can definitely feel the attitude and feeling in the song.  “Move Like You Gonna Die” is a song about how Cobra Starship doesn’t like performing to still crowds and they definitely make that clear.  “The World Will Never Do” is very different from all the other songs with an R&B feeling to it.  The chorus is very repetitive and the song could have done without the auto tune.  There are guest vocals from B.o.B who raps in the middle of the song, which is probably the best part of the entire song. Overall this was probably the worst song on the album. “I May Be Rude But I’m the Truth” doesn’t have the same energy as the other songs do.  It is very blunt song and it gets the point across.  “Cobras Never Say Die” is a lot like the previous song.  It just doesn’t have the same spunk as other songs on the album. 

The last three songs on the Deluxe Album are remixes of “Good Girls Go Bad,” the first one being the “Sauve Suarez on Pleasure Ryland Remix.”  This remix definitely lives up to its name, that’s for sure.  The “Isom Innis Remix” sounds like a song that would be played in a club and it will definitely make the listener dance.  If you’re going to listen to this remix, make sure you have some strobe lights in the room, you’ll be wanting them if you don’t.  The “Cash Cash Remix” definitely sounds like something the band Cash Cash would do.  Yet again, it’s another Remix that sounds like it was meant to be played in a club. 

“Hot Mess” is definitely an album for someone that wants to have fun and dance.  It will definitly help someone forget about any issues they may be having in their life.  The album is different from Cobra Starship’s previous albums, but it’s a good follow up even though it didn't live up to it's full potential.   However, it’s one of those albums where the first few songs on the album seem to be the most catchy  and the fan favorites. Some of the songs also sound a lot alike.  There is versatility to the album, however the catchy songs sound like all of the other catchy songs on the album.  Some of the songs just don't have the same spunk to them that all of the other Cobra Starship songs do. Negativity aside, "Hot Mess" is an album that can appeal to just about anyone.
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