It’s a mistake to take Cobra Starship seriously. The cheesy lyrics, the cheerleader chants… Gabe Saporta and his friends aren’t approaching their music in a serious way, and neither should you. Hot Mess is an album that can be either loved or hated, depending on the way you listen to it.
Cobra Starship show here some of their catchiest songs yet, filled with cheesy lyrics and keytar lines to match. ‘Wet Hot American Summer’ is going to be the guilty pleasure of this Summer for many pop lovers in the world. ‘When the sun comes down / I’ll still be around / ‘Cause it’s summertime / Get down!’ Cheesy? Yes, but somehow, it gets stuck in your head in only a few listens. ‘Good Girls Go Bad’ sees Gabe singing about good girls going bad alongside with Gossip Girl star Leighton Meester and ‘Pete Wentz Is The Only Reason We’re Famous’ shows the band at its funniest in the chorus. ‘I’m not street but I do what I gotta do / So what you got a crew? I gotta a crew too.’
Unfortunately, not everything in Hot Mess is so cheesy that is funny. ‘Nice Guys Finish Last’ is a horrible song, that even takes some of its parts from Britney Spears’ ‘Womanizer’. ‘The Scene Is Dead – Long Live The Scene’ contains an enjoyable chorus, but features boring verses, making it feel more like a filler song.
And this is where most of the problems that lie within Hot Mess. The band often makes songs that are hits or misses, that can either end as funny songs that joke with most of the bands in the scene today (‘You’re Not In On The Joke’ and ‘Move Like You Gonna Die’) or songs that don’t suit Saporta’s vision, such as ballads (‘The World Will Never Do’ and ‘Fold Your Ands Child’) and love songs (‘Hot Mess’).
Hot Mess is not a horrible album by any means, and when Cobra Starship stick to what they do best, Hot Mess is able to show some pure pop gems (‘Living In The Sky With Diamonds’) and pull some laughs from any listener, but when Hot Mess is in full gear, it always seems to be interrupted by unfunny ballads and weak attempts at love songs, resulting in a fun, but uneven album.