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Cobra Starship - 'Hot Mess'

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Fraser McAlpine | 10:22 UK time, Saturday, 13 February 2010

Cobra Starship

OK, class, I've got a project for you. We need to get this song to a place in the charts which is directly adjacent to either 'Tik Tok' or 'Blah Blah Blah' by Ke$ha, preferably one place higher. Then, rather than being a countdown of unique, distinct blocks of sound, the chart rundown becomes a kind of narrative, as the songs start to talk to each other.

First the drunk girl enters the bar, knocking drinks over and picking a fight with the sleazy guy on the high stool. She takes her drink, downs it in one and sashays the hell out of there, leave a trail of chaos in her wake, and all eyes on the toilet paper stuck to her shoe.

Then, just outside the front door, a group of impressed kids attempts to catch her eye. Their leader looks her up and down, before going down on one knee and singing this song.

Kinda brings a tear to the eye, dunnit?

(Here's the video. Anyone else troubled by the idea of a group of men (and one lady) cruising around in a van in order to pick up drunk girls?)

As befits these harsh modern times, this kind of thumbnail sketch of a song is neither sentimental nor romantic, but BOY it's got a lot of character. Hell, the title alone is worth a five-minute thinkabout. 'Hot Mess' can mean either 'sexy but all-over-the-place' or 'really good at looking scuzzy'. And you can even spin those around to get 'sexy/scuzzy' or 'accomplished/untidy'. That's an arresting two-word description, right there.

And isn't it nice to have a song which does not demand unattainable levels of perfection? All you have to do to catch the eye of these Starship captains is shake "it" on a barroom table, and then collapse in a heap on the floor in a stylish fashion. You probably don't even have to dress up!

Of course, in reality we all know that the person making all that fuss and noise around themselves - male or female - is a royal pain in the rear-end. It's nice to pretend otherwise via the medium of popular song, and thanks to Cobra and Kesh we've got both sides of the story, but it's not the FULL story, otherwise there would be some kind of grinding, unpleasant hangover bit at the end which lasts half an hour and comes with its own strange bruising.

By the way, in the end the girl tells the boy to get lost and then falls in a bin. Which should set things up nicely for 'Everybody Hurts'.

Four starsDownload: February 15th
CD Released: February 15th
BBC Music page

(Fraser McAlpine)


  • Comment number 1.

    At first I would've given this song 2 stars, but that review was hilarious, so three stars.

  • Comment number 2.

    Much like Shake It (Metro Station for anyones whose forgotten them)this is just about the chorus, the verses are just there to fill time. So if I was judging it on the chorus it would be 5 stars but, unfortunately, common sense has to come into the equations, so I'll take one mark off for the lack of any real verse and another mark off for the fact that it sounds too much like Good Girls Go Bad. 3 Stars then.

  • Comment number 3.

    Haha this review has inspired me to write a story linking the Top 20 songs in the UK together.

    "On a Caribbean island, in a large treehouse overlooking the crystal blue sea, an attractive young woman named RIHANNA is scolding her lover for being such a RUDE BOY. When her boyfriend continues to persevere with his rude comments, she then calls in her five girlfriends known as THE SATURDAYS to put a stop to this boy's antics.

    Now naturally enough seeing five women dressed in tight superhero costumes, the Rude Boy is expecting kinky fun with six very attractive ladies. However, the blond one Mollie soon unleashes her bad breath on him and the one with the strong singing voice Vanessa starts performing weird voodoo magic on him. The other three members of The Saturdays then sit on cars and tell him to have a sit down with his EGO. So sex with the Saturdays actually turns out to be a turn off.

    The Saturdays realising that they have conquered the evil supervillain Rude Boy share a girly high five with Rihanna and fly off to LA where they find a drunken girl named KE$HA. They realise that excessive amount of drink has affected this girl and need to save her. TIK TOK. There's not much time left. Not even enough time to spell TiK ToK properly or gramatically. They fly in and take Ke$ha to the toilets where she promptly vomits in a sink. And pees in it. Cos she's such an ANIMAL.

    But Ke$ha is a firm believer in being able to handle her own drink and being a little drunk is gonna stop her from being challenged. She staggers out of the bathroom and sees that new British girl ALEXANDRA BURKE showing off out on the dancefloor. Well Ke$ha is going to stand for that. Taking her high heels off, Ke$ha slams them against the wall, breaking them and prompting Alexandra to do the same. The two then participate in a dance off to see who can do it better in BROKEN HEELS.

    But of course, their competition is ruined when LADY GAGA walks in and claims she is the hottest pop princess of them all. She then proceeds to slander Ke$ha and Alex by telling paparazzi that the two ladies are secretly dating each other but now their relationship is falling apart and quotes her own song by saying they are involved in a BAD ROMANCE.

    Suddenly, the whole club goes quiet when JAY-Z and his crafty manservant MR. HUDSON walk into the club. Naturally, as Jay is the most respected
    name in hip-hop. It will be him who will decide who is the ultimate pop princess. Jay-Z opens his mouth and the whole club waits with baited breath. Finally he speaks and states in his deep powerful voice:
    'I believe...seeing as Lady GaGa plans on being the next Madonna, she will look...' at this point Jay-Z pauses and a drumroll ensues, Jay nudges Mr. Hudson and Hudson croons out "FOREVER YOUNG", finishing his master's sentence for him. Jay-Z proclaims GaGa the winner. And his word

    GaGa hops around like a mad hatter, laughing and pointing in Ke$ha and Alexandra who stalk off offended. JAY SEAN, SEAN PAUL and LIL JOHN jump on stage to unleash their new celebratory single DO YOU REMEMBER? Oh-ho, GaGa would remember this night forever. After their done, the party ends and the club closes.

    Late for the party, however, is SIDNEY SAMSON and the Great WIZARD SLEEVE who appear outside the club from another magical dimension far away. When they see that the club is closed, Samson lets out a sigh and sits over beside the river.
    "But they didn't get to hear our new song," wails out Samson.
    "Oh, so, it isn't that good anyway," said wise old Wizard Sleeve.
    "I guess your right," sighed Sidney. "Why don't you take us back to the magical land of Electronitopia then".
    Wizard Sleeve takes out his magical staff, dances on the spot, realises that he's beside the river and needs to get away from there and lets out the magical incantation.
    "RIVERSIDE (LET'S GO)" he cried out. He then unleashes an explicit word which makes the magic work faster.

    Just as the two men vanish by the river side, a taxi cab sweeps through HOLLYWOOD. The taxi contains MARINA & THE DIAMONDS. Well, a woman named Marina who is carrying a large case of diamonds that she stole from a museum so that hit music producer Timbaland would sign her to his US record label Mosely Records. Why was she doing this? Because she's obsessed with the mess that's America. Even though so far, she wasn't impressed. On touching down in the country she obsessed so much about, she was chatted up by a fat security guard who not only compared her to Shakira but also to Catherine Zeta Jones.

    Wow, I feel so special being compared to some other woman thought Marina
    to herself.
    She grinned however when she sniped back at the security guard: 'Actually my name's Marina'. She was such a bad ass!

    Marina looked out the window and saw what a drunken city LA was. A trashy looking girl with blond hair was staggering alongside two nerdy looking men wearing T-shirts with the logo 3OH!3 on them. Marina couldn't make hide nor hair of what they were saying. As far as she was concerned, all she could hear from them was BLAH BLAH BLAH.

    Another EXAMPLE of drunkedness in the city occurred, as the taxi flew past a British pub. Marina caught a brief glimpse of a man being thrown out as he professed in a loud English accent that he "most certainly WON'T go quietly". Marina sat back in her car and took a deep breath. All of Hollywood couldn't be like this. She reminded herself of a bit of cliched advice from her friend. "DON'T STOP BELIEVING". Marina tried to keep this advice in mind as she continued her JOURNEY through LA.

    Marina's taxi cab passed another one which held four guys who shared dreams very similar to Marina. Like Marina, they were British and they were called JLS. They knew that they only had ONE SHOT at being successful in America. When the taxi pulled to a halt in front of the latest US record, the four men jumped out of the cab when suddenly Aston cried:
    "Oi look down there! It's KATY PERRY and 3OH!3! And there's Ke$ha lying in a gutter next to them. I'm completely STARSTRUKK lads. And I say Starstrukk with two Ks as opposed to Starstruck cos I'm using a play on words because its the name of the song they sang together."
    Marvin took out his brand new spanking iPhone, opened up the video camera on it and zoomed in as Katy walked away from them.
    "Oh man, I hate to see her go but I love to watch her walk away," giggled Oritse.
    "Allow me to quote an IYAZ song, Marv, and put that clip on REPLAY please," shouted out JB.

    While the guys from JLS stood outside the record company building ogling their homemade video of Katy Perry, Marina was disgruntled. She had nearly BROKEN DOWN when she heard that Timbaland was not in LA as originally planned but in New York! A fuming Marina jumped on a plane to New York. She needed to put herself into an Empire State Of Mind. She was going to NYC! Suddenly, Marina shuddered as she realised she had quoted a Jay-Z song without asking permission. Not even in her own thoughts was she allowed to do that, Marina decided that she would call her Empire State Of Mind...EMPIRE STATE OF MIND (PART II). That was original. Well not exactly she had a feeling that was an ALICIA KEYS song. But she wasn't afraid of no Alicia Keys. There was a new piano lady in town!

    As a big surprise, the CAST OF GLEE suddenly appeared in the aisle dressed in flight attendant uniforms singing out Marina's new philosophy DON'T STOP BELIEVING. The reaction of the air passengers ranged from joy to horror. Marina, however, concentrated on that chorus, knowing it would help her survive life in America.

    Finally, Marina found herself in an office with TIMBALAND. She began to have regrets about the man's state of mind. It wasn't empire, it was more psychologically damaged. He had a shrine his room addressed to some woman named KATY PERRY. There were candles and a photo of him and Katy. Well at least it looked like the two of them. On closer inspection, Marina noticed that a white hand was wrapped around Katy's waist and wild hair protruded out behind Timbaland's head. But Timbaland was a bald black man. This didn't make sense. Marina then realised that Timbaland had cut the photographic head of the person really standing beside Katy and replaced that person's head with his own. Timbaland barely noticed Marina, sighing and stroking Katy's photographic face and repeatedly saying "IF WE EVER MEET AGAIN my love".

    As Marina backed slowly out of Timbaland's office, the building suddenly shook, red lights flashed everywhere and the shutters all dropped encasing the entire New York building. A TV screen behind Timbaland's desk suddenly flashed on and VANILLA ICE appeared on screen.
    "This record company now belongs to me!" he announced. "I will not sign any artists whatsoever. Apart from these guys".

    He pointed either side of him to reveal two twins with terrible blond quiffs. "Me and JEDWARD will take over the World!" cried out VANILLA ICE and let out a long high pitched laugh.

    Well now Marina was annoyed. She wasn't getting signed and that put her UNDER PRESSURE. She was gonna ICE ICE BABY. Marina shook her head. This pressure pushing down on her was causing her thoughts to be muddled. She was gonna ice ice Vanilla Ice.

    In a distant valley, far away, OWL CITY was reading the FIREFLIES, finding out the future from the way they moved. Bad things were about to happen.


    Find out what happens next week on Chart Stories!"

  • Comment number 4.

    Oh and apologies for any grammatical/misspelled sentences above. Take note that I really messed up on the Ke$ha paragraph. Being a little drunk WASN'T going to stop her from a challenge and she WASN'T gonna stand for Alex's gloating.

  • Comment number 5.

    Did we cure your writer's block then ?

  • Comment number 6.

    Absolutely brilliant Randy !
    Bravo !

  • Comment number 7.

    Well now I'm not going to win any literary prizes for that story and the plot was disjointed but when I'm bored I write.

    Yes, I think writers block is cured.

  • Comment number 8.

    To get to your list you have obviously heard too many UNCONDITIONAL LOVE SONGS, your girlfriend must be a little hacked off !
    That behaviour will make her SIGH NO MORE.
    To get her aroused you must be a bit of an ANIMAL , and not whisper in her ear like ALVIN AND THE CHIPMUNKS !

    Who are you the Irish Aled Jones ?

    Surely you wanna taste THE FAME , and be sailing on a cruise with the love of your life , while Thranjax , Liam AND Curtains massage your feet with strawberry body oil , especially imported from Sri Lanka .

    Let THE SEA air into your LUNGS !

    Randy , relax , lie back and let a scantily clad Harry The Dog cook your eggs SUNNY SIDE UP !

    Arrive refreshed and dock in Austria ,and be intimate with your girlfriend , until she shouts FOREVER VIENNA in your ear !

    And don't be afraid to accept the competitively priced exotic room service offered by Flatknees !

    For once in your life , embrace THE ELEMENT OF FREEDOM !

    The adventures of RANDOM ENIGMA are sponsored by the album chart top 10 !

  • Comment number 9.

    Wow my adventures sure are erotic! So true to life!

    Nice one, Spirit!

  • Comment number 10.

    But come on Randy , which part of the story did you prefer ?

    Being intimate with your girlfriend , a semi naked Harry cooking you eggs , Flatknees's exotic room service or Thranjax massaging your feet ?

  • Comment number 11.

    Well having my feet massaged is not a good idea because I DO NOT LIKE PEOPLE TOUCHING MY FEET. And poor Thranjax would end up with a broken nose. I am an incredibly ticklish person.

    My automatic answer would be intimate with MrsRandomEnigma but I'm totally curious by the images of a semi naked Harry and Flatknees being all exotic and such!

  • Comment number 12.

    I guess I will have to find something else to massage.

  • Comment number 13.

    Which brings us right back to Randy's "cobra starship" as he calls it, and the resultant Hot Mess...

  • Comment number 14.

    I have heard that Randy's Cobra Starship makes all the good girls go bad !

  • Comment number 15.

    Yes, I've made many a Good Girl Gone Bad in my time.

  • Comment number 16.

    How come - if this is a well read blog by all age groups - my statement at 13 is acceptable, but using foreign language is not? I really don't get it.

  • Comment number 17.

    Ha Ha. Seems like you've all got away with alot, maybe the Moderators have been slacking off recently.

  • Comment number 18.

    I got some serious inudendo posts removed once. The mods really dont like Gaga's disco stick.

  • Comment number 19.

    Not their best release, but at least they're finally infiltrating the ears of the UK population. A fun band, would prefer them over most of the current top 10.

  • Comment number 20.

    That's just stupid! How come Liam's post at 18 gets removed and they keep the others, was it just because he mention Lady Gaga?

  • Comment number 21.

    Oh this isn't Liam's growing obsession with Lady Gaga again , is it ?

    Every time he mentions her , he gets moderated !

  • Comment number 22.

    Hahahaha my post got put back. That's the first time it's ever got put back.

    Im more curious as to why it was refered in the first place? Did some regular do it as a joke?

    I got one of Spirit's posts removed once for a laugh, as it contained the word "dipstick" and I claimed I found it offensive.

  • Comment number 23.



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