Melophobia is the third studio album by Cage the Elephant, an American Alternative Rock band. The main trend of the album lyrically is that it follows the lead singer’s past loves and his feelings about them. This trend starts with the album’s first track, “Spiderhead”.
In “Spiderhead”, the bassline is very consistent and sets a very good mood. It’s then followed by an instrument which, seemingly, is synthesizer played in the correct chord structure to the notes the bass puts down. Then, the lead guitarist plays a similar line to the rhythm and adds effect with timed playing with the other parts. It’s a very well written and one worthy of my respect. The vocals have passion, not synonymous with the later tracks in the album. Looking at the vocals as an instrument, they seem to fit in very well here.
The next song on the album is “Come a Little Closer”, the flagship track of the album. It begins with a really mellow bassline, with the rhythm guitar coming in and playing a really fast-paced, quiet, descending scale from the bass’ root note, while the lead plays heavily distorted and tremolo throughout. The chorus picks up in pacing with all the rhythm instruments, playing a dynamic set of very similar lines, and the guitarist doing really loud scales and chords with the effects turned up even more. The parts flow into each other and are written surprisingly well. Overall, this is clearly the best track on the album, but that doesn’t detract from the other tracks.
The rest of the songs follow the same archetype as the first two songs, swapping between rhythm instruments to start the buildup and adding differences into each formula. “It’s Just Forever” adds singer Allison Mosshart from The Kills to the mix, whom adds a lot to the track. “Cigarette Daydreams” uses an acoustic guitar as their rhythm and actually it goes over very well.
Melephobia, which means fear of music, is an album in which Cage the Elephant makes music stemming from nothing other than themselves and their desires to make music.
They also attempt to make music that avoids following the predetermined image of what would be defined as poetic, artistic, or cool, but rather make music completely honestly and transparently, defining who they are in their song writing.
As a whole, the album follows its theme quite well, and is consistent in song quality, as an album should be. Overall, I’d give it an eight point five (8.5) out of ten. Anyone who likes it their first time through, provided they aren’t put off by some insane vocals and weird key signatures, will grow to absolutely adore this album.