Thursday, July 9th, 2009

Cobra Starship ft. Leighton Meester – Good Girls Go Bad

Her from Gossip Girl, him from… er, Cobra Starship’s other songs…


Hillary Brown: Maybe a break wipes the mind clean. The point is that I went on vacation and didn’t write any blurbs for a week or so, and now I’m really enjoying this puddle of goof, which is kind of High School Musical meets disco. Causation or mere correlation?

Chuck Eddy: Can’t stand the adenoidal 90-pound-weakling pop-punk whininess, but when it gangs up or climbs into high pretty boy-band-register, I can live with it. The electro sproings are passingly cute too, and Meester shows real body in singing mode and even more so in rapping mode — for two seconds there, she almost seems ready to join L’Trimm. Which means she could probably also kick the boys’ butts. I guess that’s bad.

Alex Ostroff: Spotted: Blair Waldorf, Queen B of the Upper East Side, slumming it with the lead singer of a synthpunk band at an underground sandwich party. How scandalous! And how delightful! Effortlessly catchy, flirty, and a perfect summer fling. My inner curmudgeon spent weeks unsuccessfully searching for a reason to hate this; there is none. You know you love it.
Gossip Girl

Matt Cibula: Unconvincing Boast Dept. sez “Don’t overpay on this one.” Bureau of Cheesy Synths has issued a warning. But there’s something slightly not cock-punchable here, and that is that Leighton Meester looks EXACTLY like Lacey Underall in the video. “Wanna tie me up with your ties, Ty?”

Ian Mathers: If nothing else, this makes me feel better about not totally hating that Snakes on a Plane song, because “Good Girls Go Bad” confirms that I don’t have a weak spot for shallow pop manipulations of Cobra Starship as a whole. You’ve got, let’s see, rave synths, compressed guitars, annoying vocal filters, Girls Gone Wild (ugh) lyrics, a middle eight stolen from “Hollaback Girl,” and a guest vocalist who sounds more like (shock) an actress. Do the kids actually go for this kind of stuff?

Al Shipley: There’s something inherently pathetic about these keytar-toting Decaydance douchebags taking their third swing at stardom. They actually get close to a decent pop tune here, though, hindered by a monotonous chorus, and helped by female vox that can’t help but be a preferable alternative to Gabe Saporta’s yelp.

Anthony Miccio: I like the trashy bombast and the quivery “bahahahad,” but Gabe Saporta’s attempt to write an anthem for douchebags sounds tame and unimaginative compared to 3OH!3’s “Don’t Trust Me.” Leighton Meester’s cameo only reveals she’s less interesting than Blair Waldorf.

Andrew Brennan: This band is all about anthemic choruses, synth/vocoder effects, and gimmicks. I LOVE it. I was worried that Leighton Meester’s vocal would have the presence of a wet towel — I could totally see this song featuring the likes of Lindsay Lohan, Hayden Panettiere or (God forbid) Heidi Montag. But actually Leighton has a bit of sass in her delivery and adds to the song. Add to that the powerful electro-guitar riff, the sweeping chorus, the kind-of-cool breakdown, and the awkwardly acted video: altogether it’s an excellent summer confection, to be enjoyed now and forgotten later.

Alex Macpherson: My strong predisposition towards the musical ventures of famewhorey model/actress/whatevers battles with my kneejerk repulsion to Cobra Starship, and loses heavily. A Paris Hilton might have been enough to redeem this, but Meester is barely a Hayden Panettiere.

Michaelangelo Matos: Swear to god that even after a bunch of background plays, when I zeroed in on the song, I initially mistook “You were hanging in the corner with your five best friends” for “You were hanging in the corner at the Panda Express,” which makes sense given the song’s situation-not-scenario (with crap like this, why bother with a plot?) and target demo. It might have made the song seem a little brighter than it is, not that it’s especially important or anything.

Erika Villani: There isn’t much more to this song than the title, which doubles as a thumpy caps-lock chorus: Gabe Saporta tells us he makes good girls go bad, and Leighton Meester repeats the whole thing from a good girl’s point of view, and then, because they can’t very well ask you to start paying attention now, there’s a bridge in which Gabe says something else, and Leighton repeats that from a good girl’s point of view too, and then everybody shouts “good girls go bad” about a million times, and apparently at no point during the writing of this song did anybody think, “Hey, you know what might make this song more interesting? If we stopped repeating things and started explaining what makes Gabe and his neckerchiefs such an irresistible force of corruption, or how exactly the smug queen bee hanging in the corner with her ‘five best friends’ and acting like she’s too hot to dance qualifies as ‘good,’ or why these two are so attracted to each other in the first place.” Then again, it’s a really catchy chorus.

Jonathan Bradley: Cobra Starship’s best tune to date was a gender-inverting remake of Katy Perry’s “I Kissed a Girl” that contained the line “I grab some junk that I don’t know”: this is the rare band that is actually improved by obnoxiousness. It is to their detriment that their career has had too little of that quality. “Good Girls Go Bad,” however, is plenty obnoxious, with its club-friendly beat, effects-drenched vocal and a guest spot from Blair out of “Gossip Girl.” I don’t believe Meester was ever a good girl, even off camera, but if she were, this would be exactly the type of salacious hook to seduce her. The trademark Cobra Starship maximalist approach is used to full effect in their corrupting mission, as is the mix of authentic observation and obnoxious swagger, in the shameless come-on, “I saw you in the corner with your five best friends.” By the time the best cheerleader break-down in pop music since Gwen Stefani’s “Hollaback Girl” rolls around, it seems like overkill, and yet, when has this band been anything but?

Anthony Easton: Why does this remind me of Boston? Why do I like that this reminds me of Boston? Did we build this city on vocal effects and emotional drama?

Additional Scores

Edward Okulicz: [7]
Martin Skidmore: [7]
Richard Swales: [2]

One Response to “Cobra Starship ft. Leighton Meester – Good Girls Go Bad”

  1. I am currently at work on a song called “You Were Hanging in the Corner at the Panda Express.” Matos will you do a remix for me y/n/m. (By the way the Panda Express at the Des Plaines Oasis on I-90/94 sucks, the steamed vegetables were rubbery and they don’t even give out soy sauce unless you ask the manager who needs to step up his Fast Faux-Chinese Food At A Glorified Chicagoland Truckstop game.)