December National Music Reviews

Review: Cage the Elephant – Melophobia

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Cage the Elephant
Melophobia
RCA
Street: 10.08
Cage the Elephant = Favourite Worst Nightmare–era Arctic Monkeys + The Fratellis + The Velvet Underground
For anyone who’s wondering, melophobia refers to a “fear of music,” but this album is anything but fearful. In fact, it embraces such a multitude of different sounds that it is sometimes overwhelming. Drawing on more classic rock influences, CTE attempt to distance themselves from the Pixies-esque sound on their previous album, Thank You, Happy Birthday, instead opting for a much more refined sound. However, the role of CTE’s influences are painfully obvious—the beginning riff of “Halo” is almost an exact copy of Arctic Monkey’s “Fluorescent Adolescent,” while “Hypocrite” makes explicit reference to The Beatles’ “Strawberry Fields Forever.” “Black Widow” and “Teeth” are easily the most upbeat—the former being the only track I can see as a single, the latter being wilder and by far the most experimental song on the album. This is a step in the right direction for CTE, but next time, less imitation and more originality. –Allison Shephard
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