My greatest surprise of this year had to be that Cage the Elephant still could make music that I would find enjoyable and invigorating to listen to. I first listened to the band when I was in middle school, when the oldie throwbacks they were producing were right at my own listening level. As I grew though, they stayed stagnant with their next release and I stopped really following their career. Then, this year, my room mate got super into their latest release and played it so much around our room that by the time I finally gave in to his pestering to listen to the album, I was entranced with the mixture of rock n’ roll influences but 21st century take on a genre that had been done over and over.
Their music now just has something about it that their earlier songs lacked. Melophobia means “fear of music” and apparently the band attempted to distance themselves from recorded music for the year leading up to the release of this album in order to make sure the album they produced would be as free from comparable music as it could. What that hiatus of listening to music resulted in was one of the coolest rock albums I have ever heard. There are unusual drum patterns, touching vocals, punk rock guitar riffs, even some trumpet playing and all matter of musical elements that have evolved from 60’s rock, combined on this album. It sounds very psychedelic at times but like a punk record at others. What I think the coolest thing they achieved with this album was their ability to take parts of every single off shoot of rock and put it all together into an album. No song on the album sounds similar to each other or to anything else they have ever written, but at the same time, it is clear that all of these songs are related in some way. Once I thought I would never listen to a Cage the Elephant song again, but after this album, I can only look forward to whatever they plan next.