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Cage the Elephant’s songwriting progresses

Cage the Elephant—“Melophobia”
8 out of 10

By Hayden Prescott Corwin ’15

‘Melophobia’ is Cage the Elephant’s third studio album and was released Oct. 8, 2013.

The album, produced by Jay Joyce, features 10 original songs filled with fuzz, reverb and tender moments.

It is a record that takes the band a step away from the sound they had been producing.

The band had previously recorded songs which were aggressive and had dark undertones in the lyrics.

The sound of the band could have been described on their prior two records as The Pixies’ melodies mixed with the angst of Nirvana’s lyricism.

They developed a maturity in their song writing for “Melophobia” that they never could have achieved with their sophomore album “Thank You Happy Birthday” or their first eponymous album.

Songs such as “Telescope” and “Cigarette Daydream” showcase Matthew Shultz, the lead singer, developing as a lyricist.

“Telescope” depicts a man who spends his life locked away in his house wondering about where his life is heading.

“Afraid of what the truth might bring / He locks his doors and never leaves / Desperately searching for signs / too terrified, to find a thing,” sings Schultz on “Telescope.”

This track deals with time moving quickly, and that people need to live life while they have it rather than locking themselves away from everyone and worrying about death and loneliness.

“Cigarette Daydream” is the final song on the album.

It is about a relationship that began to fade away, and the singer didn’t understand why.

The lyrics also suggest that the relationship was not based on maturity.

Both of these songs are slower and more elegant tracks than the typical upbeat and angst-filled Cage the Elephant song.

The single off the album is “Come a Little Closer.”

This track could sum up the sound of the entire album with a groove that stays in the pocket and then explodes at the chorus.

Cage the Elephant has also brought danceable tracks into their repertoire with this release.

The song “Take It or Leave It” has giggling and jumping guitar and bass sounds.

“Halo” is another song that has a bouncing bass line.

Rhythmic singing also helps these tracks to move.

Surfer rock sounds like that of the Beach Boys is an undeniable influence on the sound of this album.

Songs like “Black Widow” and “Spiderhead” have beach-music vibes in their composition.

Cage the Elephant is progressing as a band and as songwriters, and “Melophobia” looks to bring the band upward.

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