Cobra Starship fell off the face of the earth after the release of their fourth studio album, Night Shades, in 2011. But having been a giant of Pete Wentz’s Decaydance family back in the early 2000s, it seemed only natural his expansion of the label, DCD2, would lure them out of hiding. Rumours of the band being back in the studio have been circulating since April, but it wasn’t until August 25th that their single, “Never Been In Love,” finally dropped.
“Never Been In Love,” which features the guest vocals of Swedish duo Icona Pop, is pure, unfiltered pop. Cobra Starship are no strangers to this genre, having topped the charts with electro-pop gem “Good Girls Go Bad,” but they seem to have lost their edge. The band that was “bringing sassy back” in 2007 have delved into mediocrity.
But it’s not all bad. “Never Been In Love” is extremely feel good, and one of those songs you know the words to after your first listen. It kicks off with a piano riff reminiscent of Fat Boy Slim’s “Praise You,” an abundance of “na na, na na na” and develops into a very commercial sound. Gabe Saporta’s vocals are just the amount of auto-tune Cobra Starship fans are used to, and mixed with those of Icona Pop, it suits the track’s tone perfectly.
“Never Been In Love” is just one step to the left of what we’d expect from Cobra Starship. The single is uplifting and infuriatingly catchy, but the lyrics lack the band’s quirky wit. They’ve been heading in this direction since Night Shades, but from the New Yorkers whose debut featured a track dedicated to Snakes on a Plane, the lyrics to “Never Been In Love” seem sub-par. “You’d never think a random night could change your life” proclaims Saporta and, well, it’s just a bit uninspired.
Cobra Starship are finally back, but it’s not with the glorious techno-coloured bang we were all hoping for. “Never Been In Love” is far from a bad single, but it just lacks the edge Cobra Starship have held throughout their past four releases. Let’s just hope their fifth album pulls them back up to where they belong.