In its newly released fourth album, “Night Shades,” Cobra Starship hides its typically quirky and catchy lyrics, infamous guitar riffs and complementing keyboards in a mix of bumping beats. While club-goers may be wearing sunglasses at night, the band’s older fans may be using them to hide a tear or two.
Cobra Starship’s new album shows a transformation from alternative rock to a technical sound with only a hint of rock influence. The shift started when the band’s 2009 hit “Good Girls Go Bad” steadily pulsed through the airwaves targeting mainstream listeners. “Night Shades” continues to appeal to the masses as it romanticizes the glamour and glitz of the party girl lifestyle.
Following its previous spunky, neon-fused album, “Hot Mess,” the band highlights the powerful vocals of Gabe Saporta, lead vocalist, and also brings outside talent aboard. In the album’s hit single “You Make Me Feel…,” Sabi, Starship’s featured female vocalist, duets with Saporta. Sabi mimics the style of American singer and actress Leighton Meester, who was featured in “Good Girls Go Bad,” as the prowling nightclub siren.
Also in the line-up, the heated second track, “Middle Finger,” features popular college rapper Mac Miller. While this might seem like an odd duo at first, Miller acts as the Robin to Saporta’s Batman, and the two complement each other with ease throughout the song.
The too-perky track “#1 Nite” oddly mimics Taio Cruz with repetitive lyrics and a simplistic chorus that shows the band’s love affair with the nightlife and lack of originality.
Starship’s attempt to revamp its sound falls flat, and the band’s long-time fans may find themselves leaving their shades at home.
2 out of 4 stars