On paper, Cobra Starship look like a freak accident spawned by Snakes on a Plane that turned slumming pop-punk singer Gabe Saporta into the genre's Will.i.am. But squint through the sugar on their fourth album, and they're ready to do right by world-class pop subversionists like the Magnetic Fields. Keytarist Victoria Asher gets to sing Night Shades' best lines: "Don't pin your heart on my sleeve" and "I'm not the kind of girl who gives you a second chance." But it's not like Saporta doesn't leave some choice bits for himself, especially "I don't wanna sing stupid love songs that I just can't believe in" on the synth-disco closer "Shwick." The only time Cobra Starship get as stupid as they sound on paper is when they actually do sound like the Black Eyed Peas. Which isn't as often as you'd think. — Dan Weiss
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