Melophobia - Cage the Elephant

Generally favorable reviews - based on 13 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 10 out of 13
  2. Negative: 1 out of 13
  1. Feb 14, 2014
    Their [stardom] has been a slow rise. The ascent continues apace. [Mar 2014, p.108]
  2. Feb 3, 2014
    While the familiar swagger is present and correct both in the Bowie-influenced "Spiderhead" and the crackling "It's Just Forever," these moments are leavened by quieter, more reflective tracks such as "Hypocrite." [Mar 2014, p.72]
  3. Oct 17, 2013
    Melophobia is a thoroughly modern rock record, where all the past is alive in the present, so if you've ever had affection for any alt-rock sound from the '80s through the 2000s, it's hard not to find something to enjoy here.
  4. Oct 8, 2013
    Propulsive choruses, a musical cacophony that whirls and a melodic sense that secedes nothing to the rhythms, the scrappy quintet’s third album is a focused, frenzied affair.
  5. Oct 8, 2013
    While that development may take some by surprise, Melophobia finally sees Cage The Elephant realise their full potential.
  6. 75
    On Melophobia they're in a class of their own among big, unit-shifting rock bands who can play with the scrap and imagination of van-tour vermin.
  7. Feb 6, 2014
    The result is a compelling exercise in growth.
  8. 70
    Cage the Elephant sound bigger and more polished here, but it’s Shultz’s lyrics that have grown up the most.
  9. Oct 8, 2013
    There's a freaky encounter with a spaceman ("Telescope") and a dance-party rager about a wicked girl ("Black Widow"), but the whole thing vibrates with hopped-up discovery.
  10. 70
    The resulting album is, at its best, ambitious and teeming with ideas and, at worst, one heck of a mish-mash of sounds.
  11. Dec 4, 2013
    It can be a little sombre, a little raucous, and sometimes rough around the edges, but is consistent throughout. [Nov-Dec 2013, p.94]
  12. Nov 15, 2013
    Cage the Elephant is definitely onto something with its sound, but other bands, such as the aforementioned ones, are doing much more with it.
  13. Oct 22, 2013
    It’s a confused effort, with the songwriting faults, misguided lyrics, and the foolish sidelining of Cage the Elephant's greatest weapon (Schultz’s voice) torpedoing the vast majority of tracks.
User Score

Universal acclaim- based on 47 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 15 out of 16
  2. Negative: 0 out of 16
  1. Feb 13, 2014
    Cage The Elephant always surprises me. On their third studio album they did nothing but surprise me. They showed their range by testing the waters of retro music, horn sections, hard to sing vocals, delicate instrumentation, and beautiful lyrics. Lincoln Parish (lead guitarist) was genius on almost every track, without the little touch of guitar magic Come a little closer wouldn't have been worth it. The Schultz brothers both delivered with a lot of passion, the vocals were soft but raw in a way. the back up guitars were distorted in a very tasteful way. The bassist Daniel was specially impressive in the intro of the song Teeth, and of course the very memorable bass line in Come a little closer. and last but not least the very creative drumming of Jared in the song Hypocrite. over all the album was structured in a perfect way I'd say, whenever you felt you were listening to a very soft and delicate album they threw a funky/aggressive song at you. the best example is after listening to Come a little closer and Telescope, you are in a very calm mood and BAM! they put in It's just forever a very upbeat cleverly placed song. And I found it to be very tasteful of their part to finish such an experimental and intricate album with such a delicate and simple song like Cigarette Daydreams. over all it was a very creative piece of work, that truly pushed Cage the elephant's boundries. Full Review »
  2. Nov 19, 2013
    Cage the Elephant's self-titled album back in 2008 was a game-changer. It filled some grungy, punkish hole that had been left vacant since I stopped listening to Green Day in Jr. high, and filled it with head-thrashing, gain-filled songs like In One Ear and Ain't No Rest For The Wicked. Thank You Happy Birthday's release with songs like Shake Me Down felt like a compromise of that original sound, and Melophobia is in the same vein. Tracks like Come a Little Closer or Teeth pull you into the album, in search of more high-energy sing alongs, but the album ultimately offers disappointment at every other turn. The tracks in Melophobia are decent compositions in their own right, but the memory of 2008's James Brown makes me wonder if CtE hasn't lived up to their potential. Full Review »
  3. Oct 13, 2013
    A very strong third offering from a band who could have so easily faded away into oblivion along with countless other bands similar to them. Strong songwriting keep your attention and bold, scuzzy, manic and at times beautiful sounds compliment the writing. One of the few albums that are not overrated right now. Full Review »