Given that melophobia literally means “a fear of music,”the title of Kentucky’s Cage the Elephant’s newest album seems an ironic choice. It’s as though the members had no fear when producing their latest album, which draws off an extremely wide array of musical influences, varying greatly from track to track.While each song takes on a personality all its own, the album, when viewed as a whole, molds together to create a sound that doesn’t always make sense, but always begs the audience to dance along.
Melophobia’s experimental sound comes from a genuine place. After spending the past few years on the road together, the five members of Cage the Elephant decided to take some time apart to work on their own ideas before reuniting to begin work on the album. The first half of the album is mellower than the latter. Many of the tracks, including “Come a Little Closer” and “Take It or Leave It”, are reminiscent of some of Cage the Elephant’s earlier pop-rock tracks. Like “Ain’t No Rest for The Wicked” or “Around My Head” from their first two albums, infectious melodies and catchy lyrics pervade to create fun songs that can’t help but get stuck in your head. The second half of the album takes on a much more intense and chaotic sound.The mish-mash of sounds reaches its peak on the second to last track, “Teeth”, a spastic, upbeat track a la The White Stripes which then fades into an odd spoken word piece that is unexpected and a bit disturbing.
For the most part, Melophobia is a fresh, fun collection of songs that seem to work together to present a sort of planned spontaneity. At times, it can stray a little far into the experimental, but the variety ensures that everyone will enjoy at least one aspect of the album. The unique blend of sounds offers a distinctive adventure for its audience and an exciting listening experience the audience is sure to enjoy.