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'Shades' sticks to roots, adjusts to pop

Cobra Starship albumBy Nabi Dressler
News Editor
Cobra Starship’s lastest album, Night Shades, was questionably unique from the start when I saw the album cover; a tattooed foot wearing a red high heel shoe, the heel crushing a pair of black sunglasses, with the band name spray-painted in the left corner.
I’d anticipated this album for over two years, the follow-up to their most successful album to date, Hot Mess. And, being an avid fan of the pop-rock quintet for years, I had high expectations.
 When the album dropped last Monday, August 29, my initial reaction was surprise. The talented voice of Gabe Saporta, lead singer, was masked by Auto-Tune in songs like #1Nite, and I found myself longing for the band to return to their “real vocals only” days.
But, like every band does, Cobra Starship has grown and changed with their latest music endeavor. While there are a lot of dance and party songs on Night Shades to enjoy like “You Make Me Feel…” that blend into the mediocrity of mainstream radio pop, there’s a distinct Cobra spin and a comfortably familiar sound to some of the songs on the album.
“Don’t Blame the World, it’s the DJ’s Fault” reminds me of the band’s older sound, and it was nice to hear they didn’t completely stray away from their original sound I’ve come to love.
Speaking of love, frontman Saporta had gone through a break-up prior to the release of the album and didn’t try to hide it in his songwriting. Songs like “You Belong to Me” whine with lyrics like “And the calm ocean flows/For the dreams that we lost/The fuse where we bury/The world just feels so small”. While I’ve never been a fan of cliche break-up song lyrics, this song’s catchy chorus makes up for it.
“Anything for Love” is my favorite song off the album. It sounds like it belongs in a cheesy 80’s movie with its full-throttle synthesizer melody and harmonious vocals throughout the song.
 Cobra Starship has come a long way since their first album in 2006, and though this isn’t my favorite album of theirs, they explored a different, more romantic angle in their music.     
 Although some of their songs seem to be nothing more than happy club songs to blast on a rainy day, I won’t complain. Cobra Starship did a solid job of staying true to their roots while adjusting themselves to today’s pop music, and who wouldn’t want both?

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