Cage the Elephant and Skrillex

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Cage the Elephant’s new album “Thank You, Happy Birthday” is, at most, ambitious। The listening experience is like sifting for gold. While some of the tracks are dirt, if you dig hard enough you find some a couple of gems.

Rubber Ball is a perfect example. The rolling vocals and see saw guitar strums create a momentum the listener can actually feel. Matthew Schulz voice is gentle. Embedded against the sounds of a timidly shaken tambourine and dreamy xylophone, the whole song becomes something of a lullaby. Then, harmonizing with his vocals is the staticy voice of a female opera singer. She doesn’t sing any lyrics, just belts a rolling vibrato.

Where previous albums lacked the musical diversity necessary to call them a success, “Thank You, Happy Birthday” is so diverse it becomes scattered। There are too many concepts going on, which is ambitious, but a concept that probably should have been stretched across a few albums instead of compiled into one melting pot.

Dub Step may be a young genre of music, but that does not mean that it isn’t growing at a rapid rate among electronic listeners. Heading the race this scene is Skrillex, the artist who has reshaped and continues to dominate the industry all together. He is literally so far ahead of the genre that he alone is shaping what it consists of.

Even though other artists such as Bassnectar may have gotten started a good ten years ahead of him, nothing comes close to the powerful atmosphere that Skrillex creates with every song.

The genre (which he sits atop of) can only be described as raw, filthy, dirty and wet. When you listen a Dub Step song, you are waiting for what is called “the drop,” which usually occurs somewhere around a minute into any track. Skrillex has mastered the art of the drop. He understands what it takes to make a song build perfectly, and drops right at the peak of the adrenaline rush he creates for his listeners.

Even better, the pattern his music takes after the drop leaves you completely satisfied, stretching the natural high it creates through the rest of the song. There is not a sound, scratch, or note misplaced.

His best track is “Hey Sexy Lady.” The beats, screams and relentless pace are everything that makes Dub Step an out of body experience. The song is like an epinephrine shot to the heart; a surge of adrenaline you didn’t think your body was capable of.

Most importantly this music has to be listened to loudly. It is always a good listen, but when its turned up so loud that you can feel the bass vibrations, you think your bones might rattle out of your skin when the drop hits at 1:26.


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