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Night Shades

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Album Review

It’s hard to get a fix on an album that has credits from members of Le Tigre, a guy who produced Susan Boyle and Il Divo, hip-hop hitmakers Stargate, American Idol's Kara DioGuardi, the great Arthur Baker, and ubiquitous songwriter-for-hire Ryan Tedder. Throw in vocals by the French all-girl band Plastiscines and Britney collaborator Sabi, a rap by Mac Miller, and some help from the unfortunately named Brooklyn pop band Jump into the Gospel, and it would seem that Cobra Starship may have gone a bit overboard on their fourth album, Nightshades. Packing so many WTFs into one ten-song record is hardly fair, a bit reckless, and ultimately (amazingly) successful. You don’t come to a Cobra Starship record looking for artistic development or big statements, especially since Gabe Saporta started them off as a joke band and they’ve operated as such ever since. Not that there’s anything wrong with that when they can make the joke work so well. Roping in such a weird mix of collaborators actually works in their favor, as the mix of sounds, styles, and ideas makes for a super enjoyable listen. Any album with a song that sounds like a New Order/OMD mash-up (the Baker-mixed "Anything for Love"), one that sounds like a Weezer ballad from the Green album ("You Belong to Me"), another that sounds like a snotty Bruno Mars track ("Fool Like Me"), and one that sounds like emo-Rihanna ("You Make Me Feel...") is an album that’s hitting lots of pop sweet spots. There are even a few songs that sound a little bit original, like the boy/girl (the girl being the group’s keytar player, Victoria Asher) dance-pop duet "Disaster Boy" and the Le Tigre co-write "Shwick," which brings a touch of credible melancholy to the party with the lyrics about not believing in stupid love songs. Ultimately you could credit the outside writers and producers for the album’s success, but also save some love for the bandmembers themselves. Saporta and crew have plenty of pop smarts and savvy to go around and they bring the right amount of sweetness and silliness to the album. Nightshades is ridiculously fun and light, sure to spawn at least a couple of songs you’ll want to play at ironic dance parties, summer blowouts, and maybe even over headphones when you need some (mostly) mindless cheering up. What more could you want from Pop music?


Formed: 2005 in New York, NY

Genre: Alternative

Years Active: '00s, '10s

As the legend of Cobra Starship would have it, frontman Gabe Saporta fled into the deserts of Arizona one day to find the true meaning of his existence away from his emo-rock band, Midtown. Saporta spent days and nights pondering life, mysterious lights constantly plaguing the nighttime sky above him. One distinct night, the lights became so mesmerizing that Gabe became catatonic and started levitating into the air. A snake suddenly came out of nowhere, bit his neck, and he awoke to find a talking...
Full bio
Night Shades, Cobra Starship
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  • 11,99 €
  • Genres: Alternative, Music, Dance, Rock, Adult Alternative
  • Released: 30 August 2011
  • Parental Advisory

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