Melophobia, Cage the Elephant’s third album takes away from the bluesy garage rock in favor of a more laid back approach. Listen to any song and you immediately hear the focus has shifted off of the lead guitar and the band is now doing it missionary, With the bass player on top…. Groovy.
The band’s breakout single Aint no rest for the wicked got the attention of the public after it was used as an intro song for the hit game Borderlands. It came off an album that hit you in your groove bone with feel-good garage rock and awesome bluesy guitar-work. Their second album now had something to live up to, especially without the video game-backed publicity. It took their eclectic rock and turned into what would happen if the Pixies and Gorillaz got freaky and had a lovechild with something to prove. That baby proved itself with the hits Shake Me Down and Aberdeen, the former proving the band had the skills to produce something truly sexy.
The album kicks off with Spiderhead which sounds more like it belongs in a retro 50’s themed musical than a rock album but soon slumps back to the classic vibe that makes the band a hit, unique vocals and solid chorus.This is followed by the highly publicized hit of the album, Come a little closer, which tries its hardest to compete with the band’s previous hits but trips falls just short into the pit of mediocrity A serious standout however for the album is its fourth track, It’s just Forever which sounds like the soundtrack to a super spy sneaking around somewhere he doesn’t belong and then (fittingly) turns into an opening song for a bond flick, complete with sexy sounding female vocalist Alison Moshart of Kills and Dead Weather fame.
Telescope and hypocrite fill up the album’s emotional song quota, with the latter digging into the messy business of guilt in a relationship with thoughtful song-writing and a sneaky Beatles reference or two. After this though the band goes balls to the walls one last time in Teeth, a fast paced garage rock track that echoes their first album and then whittles down into a grungy monologue lambasting the disappearance of storytellers and the sense of confusion life provides us with. The Album then does something completely different; an acoustic indie love ballad…which gets your head and feet bobbing together in unison and then just ends without warning. Talk about polar opposites.
On the whole Melophobia feels more laid back than the band’s previous work. Less eclectic garage rock and more pixies inspired bass love. It’s a step towards something new for the band but its retaining the unique sound that makes them great. A definite buy if you love Cage the elephant or you simply think the pixies are slightly too hardcore for you.
Come a Little Closer Tour Video:
Cage the Elephant Rolling stone interview: