Cage The Elephant - Melophobia - Albums - Reviews - Soundblab

Cage The Elephant - Melophobia

by D R Pautsch Rating:6 Release Date:2014-02-25

You may have read the news story that in the UK album charts sale of rock overtook pop last year. A quick look at the best selling albums of last year makes you wonder what classifies as rock music these days. Contributing to the rise of rock music are artists such as Rod Stewart, Jake Bugg and Bastille. 

Rock that is successful in the mainstream usually has its pop sensibilities, this has always been the case, so it should be no surprise that the line has become blurred. So upon hearing the third Cage the Elephant album, you might be rejoicing at hearing rock music again but also aware that it's wearing its pop sensibilities and push for the mainstream very clearly.

The fuzzed guitars and vocals on show here are reminiscent of glam rock. There are hooks galore among the 10 tracks and a number of moments which are trying to be anthems. And perhaps that might be the issue here: trying, or rather trying too hard.

'Spiderhead' starts proceedings well enough with a chorus that's catchy, with a simple enough delivery. 'Teeth' is a joyously fun thrash which would work if it wasn't for the dragged-out ending that just dwindles into nothing. 'It's Just Forever' features the vocals of Allison Mosshart and sounds great until it breaks down into piano and what feels like the random hitting of keys.

Too many of the tracks here don't have satisfactory endings. The attempts at anthems range from the almost successful ('Telescope') to the almost-painfully-aware-it-wants-to-be-an-anthem ('Cigarette Daydreams').

Cage the Elephant have had some success so far and they are so obviously trying to build on this and appeal to a wider audience. They just might do that with a couple of the radio-friendly tracks here which could appeal to the casual listener. 

The album as a whole doesn't deliver a memorable experience, though. While its rock tendencies and pop sensibilities may mean short-term success, they will need to come up with a more coherent effort if they are to truly deliver an album that will make its mark in the annuls of rock history. Stop trying and start feeling, guys.  

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