Why This Song Sucks: Cobra Starship's "You Make Me Feel..."

[Editor's note: Why This Song Sucks determines why particular tracks blow using science. It appears on West Coast Sound every Wednesday.]

Song: Cobra Starship's "You Make Me Feel..." featuring Sabi

History: Cobra Starship is a pop band and just about the most hardcore thing to come from New York in the last 35 years. "You Make Me Feel..." was the first single released for the mostly underwhelming Night Shades, the group's August-released album. NS sold only 9,000 copies in its first week. Still, "You Make Me Feel..." has crushed the troposphere of every American, Australian and New Zealand nightclub for all of its existence. Currently, it is No. 10 on Billboard's Hot 100.

Structure and Function: "You Make Me Feel..." is an aural blitzkrieg, pounded into mainstream sensibility by producer/demigod Steve Mac with the force of Thor's hammer. If allowed to germinate, it will eat the gooey part of your brain.

Atmospherics: Gummy synths; bouncy house bop; robo-airspace; fist pump snares; tactile arousal; bombastic charm; derivative of every nightlife earworm ever ^2.

Scientific Analysis: The examination of the ineptitude of "You Make Me Feel..." is based in visceral empiricism. Ostensibly, "You Make Me Feel..." has zero redeemable qualities. There is no heart and there is no life and there is no soul and there is no nothing; it is the opposite of what music is supposed to be. It simply exists, waiting to be jingle-ized (Vampire Diaries, baby!). Listened to with any sort of forethought or general coherency, it is as inspiring as a FedEx commercial.

To wit, I played the video for this song on a Wednesday night from 8:58 p.m. to 9:02 p.m. sitting at a computer chair completely sober. I charted how the video made me feel as it played. Graph:

How "You Make Me Feel..." Makes Me Feel While I'm Sober
How "You Make Me Feel..." Makes Me Feel While I'm Sober

There is a definite correlation between how long the song is played and how necessary one finds one's own ears. Seemingly, all* is lost.

*Initially, it appears that from the 1:30 mark to the 2:00 mark "You Make Me Feel..." is enjoyable. Alas, that segment of data is skewed by two unexpected Robin Williams cameos in the video and must be discarded.


The Robin Williams Phenomenon
The Robin Williams Phenomenon
Robin Williams, Threat To Scientific AccuracyEXPAND
Robin Williams, Threat To Scientific Accuracy

This happens regularly in scientific testing. It's referred to as the Robin Williams Phenomenon. One time, Indiana's Dr. Robert Schlesinger thought he'd stumbled upon the cure for cancer when the dwindling red blood cell count of one of his patients had miraculously tripled overnight. Turned out, someone had just left Patch Adams playing in the patient's room while he slept. It's a powerful movie. He saves kids with LAUGHTER, bro.

However, in the interest of being thorough, we investigated the postulate that this song is not meant to be consumed by fully functional human beings, and that its brilliance is entirely conditional, as the video implies.

We played the song repeatedly from 9:15 p.m. to 9:43 p.m., this time mimicking the behavior of the the people in the video, drinking irresponsibly and posing for pictures in a photo booth. (In this case, my science bathroom, also known as my regular bathroom.) Unexpectedly, the pattern reversed itself. Graph below.


How "You Make Me Feel..." Makes Me Feel While I'm Drinking Vodka Redbull
How "You Make Me Feel..." Makes Me Feel While I'm Drinking Vodka Redbull


(I) This song sucks if you are not getting drunk.

(II) Robin Williams will screw up your scientific data if you're not careful.

(III) Drinking seven Vodka Redbull is akin to letting a donkey kick you in the forehead.


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