"Good Girls Go Bad"
Cobra Starship is one of those indie bands whose notoriety has been percolating just under pop culture’s national consciousness for a couple years now. Those in the know—or the four people who bought the Snakes on a Plane soundtrack, for that matter—well, they’re hip to Cobra Starship and the band’s don’t-take-life-too-seriously synthpop vibe. (Think Katy Perry, Gwen Stefani, The Black Eyed Peas, Fall Out Boy, Kanye West and The Killers all sort of smooshed together, and you’ll be on the right track.)
For the rest of us, well, "Good Girls Gone Bad" is the first song we’ve ever heard from Cobra Starship. With help from Gossip Girl star Leighton Meester (who sings about half the song) and American Idol judge Kara DioGuardi (who co-wrote and produced it), Cobra Starship has touched down at No. 10 on the singles chart and is burning up the radio airplay charts too.
Now, on to the track itself.
Some songs require a keen mind to puzzle out exactly what the artist is saying. This is not one of them. "I make them good girls go bad," brags the band’s frontman and founder, Gabe Saporta. Corrupting aforementioned good girls seems to be a hobby: "I know your type, you’re daddy’s little girl/Just take a bite/Let me shake up your world." An undisguised—and unsurprising—proposition for a casual sexual fling comes next ("Just one night couldn’t be so wrong/I’m gonna make you lose control").
Leighton voices the woman’s part in this story. And though she knows better ("I know your type/Boy, you’re dangerous/You’re the guy I’d be stupid to trust"), she takes him up on his offer ("I heard that you were trouble/But I couldn’t resist").
It should go without saying where I’m going to land with regard to Cobra Starship’s pop culture entrée. Why would anyone spend much time entertaining this song’s clichéd and sleazy message?
That’s a rhetorical question, but I’ll go ahead and answer it. Even though sometimes we know better, songs like these can entice us into dismissing obviously problematic messages because the beat is just so infectious. Kara DioGuardi didn’t end up on American Idol by accident, and she’s crafted yet another hit here. Mindless? Yes. Immoral? Check. Catchy? Absolutely—which is all the more reason to take Cobra Starship more seriously than the band wants us to.