Cage the Elephant: Melophobia

Kentucky’s own Cage the Elephant have recently released their third studio record Melophobia through RCA records. Cage the Elephant have been making a meteoric rise ever since their self-titled debut in 2008 and each album that has followed has both been widely praised and further expanded the band as being alternative rock powerhouses.

For an album title meaning “fear of music,” Cage the Elephant clearly did not take a literal interpretation to the term. In fact, it seems as though they took it to mean “fear of sounding like a sum of their influences” and really tried to crate a gap between them and their contemporaries., further dispelling any comparisons that may be made towards this band and any other group. The songwriting in this band has leapt tremendously and I think this is mainly due to their frontman Matthew Shultz, really coming into his own as a writer and lyricist. This is clearly his best record, including some of his greatest songs to date such as “Come a Little Closer” and “Telescope.” Both are songs taken straight out of his experiences while being on and off the road and if you listen closely, he really opens up to the listener in terms of how he felt at the time of writing the song.

Instrumentally, I think the band are also on top form. There are some amazing guitar hooks on this album and everything is devilishly catchy. They also really experiment with different sounds and instruments including the use of trumpets, trombones, and saxophones on a number of tracks. They also manage to expand their palette of sounds by creating  rawer, almost punk image on a majority of this record. I feel as though they’ve always had this element to their music, but never quite embellished the way it has been on this record.

With Melophobia, the band have proven that no matter how ambitious the project. they will do what’s necessary to produce an awesome-sounding record on their own terms and the result as you can plainly hear is a stunningly brilliant album. Certainly worth checking out and will most like be chart topper in this years top 20.

Luke Helker

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