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Cage The Elephant | Tell Me I'm Pretty

Label: RCA
Release Date: December 18, 2015
Rating:  4.5 out of 5
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December 14, 2015
By Richard Ahlgrim
Alternative rock band Cage The Elephant, is back with their 4th studio album, Tell Me I’m Pretty, set to release on December 18th.  Since 2006, when Cage The Elephant formed, they have come a long way in the music industry and have emulated many different genres and styles of music.  Tell Me I’m Pretty features a great new sound for the band and contains a taste of The Black Keys, which is expected because Dan Auerbach of The Black Keys produced the album.

Cage The Elephant began in Bowling Green, Kentucky in 2006 and in less than 10 years, they have recorded four albums and have been Grammy-nominated.  Their first self-titled album was released in 2008, which included: “Back Against the Wall”, “In One Ear”, and “Ain’t No Rest for the Wicked”.   All three of these songs made it within the top 3 for Alternative songs on the Billboard 200.  Following this success, Cage The Elephant released Thank You, Happy Birthday in 2011.  This album debuted at number two on the Billboard 200.  The single, “Shake Me Down”, made number one on the Billboard Rock Songs chart and was nominated for an MTV Video Music Award for Best Rock Video..  Their third album, Melophobia, released in 2013, includes “Come a Little Closer” which made number 1 on the Billboard US Rock Airplay chart and the Billboard Alternative Songs chart.  Another song included on this album is “Cigarette Daydreams”, which also made number 1 on the Billboard Alternative Songs charts.

With each album Cage The Elephant has altered their sound and released a variety great tracks, which makes them appeal to a large audience and shows that they are very versatile with their music and song writing.  Compared to Cage The Elephant and Thank You, Happy Birthday, Tell Me I’m Pretty is much slower and showcases the lyrics rather than hard, grunge guitar riffs.  In their first two albums, Cage The Elephant’s music consisted of heavy, 80’s grunge style guitar accompanied by rap sounding lyrics.  In Melophobia, they toned themselves down and let their alternative rock feel overcome their grunge roots.  Tell Me I’m Pretty expand upon the tempo change seen between Thank You, Happy Birthday and Melophobia by including more slow song, adding a 60’s vibe to the music, and strengthening the lyrics.

Tell Me I’m Pretty
begins with the song “Cry Baby”, whose intro sets the stage for the entire album.  “Cry Baby” begins with a Beach Boys vibe mixed mix upbeat, catchy lyrics and a pinch of distorted backing guitar melodies in the background.  Although it seems like a jumble of styles, it pools into a unique sound that fits the band perfectly.  These 60’s vibes can be heard throughout the rest of the album although they are most prominent in “Cry Baby”, the following song “Mess Around”, and “Trouble”.  “Mess Around” is, in my opinion, not one of the best songs on the album, but it definitely shows their new musical style very well.  This song seems to have been the first single because the lyrics are repetitive and catchy and the song fits in with other mainstream music right now.

“Mess Around” was released as the first single off Tell Me I’m Pretty, followed by “Trouble” and “Too Late To Say Goodbye”.  “Trouble” is one of the slowest songs on the album, but still maintains the blissful, joyful mood of the album.  Although it’s about facing troubles in life, and in relationships, it has a slow, high pitched melody which makes it feel very light and easy going.  The lyrics match the high pitched melodies very well and tie the song together.  The latest single released, “Too Late To Say Goodbye”, is easily my favorite song on the album.  This song contains heavy hitting bass, a nice vocal range, great uses of breaks, and tells an interesting story.  This song is very unique compared to the rest of this album because it includes a few distorted guitar riffs, found throughout the entire album, but for the majority of the song the guitar is hidden in the background.  Cage The Elephant doesn’t normally hide the guitar in the background of their songs.

A close second for my favorite song on the album is “Cold Cold Cold”.  This song is upbeat and contains some very prominent guitar riffs.  This song has a very catchy beat with lyrics that you can’t resist to sing along with.  The guitar in this song contains a lot of finger picking and a few solos which aren’t matched anywhere else in the rest of the album.  The only other song on the album with prominent finger picking is “Trouble” and not many songs on their past albums have featured it either.  This change really makes this song stand out amongst the rest.  Another song that stands out due to a change in the music is “Portuguese Knife Fight”.  This song features heavier guitar sounds and sounds more like Cage The Elephant’s first album.

Although Tell Me I’m Pretty contains a few songs that aren’t great, the majority of them are very catchy, unique and fun.  This album definitely moves away from the 80’s grunge style that Cage The Elephant is known for, but it shows the diversity of their song writing abilities and talent as musicians.  The lyrics on this album range from repetitive and easy to understand, to multiple verses full of cryptic phrases and deep meanings.  Altogether, this album shows a lot of unique talent and many great songs that will appeal to a large audience.  Even if you didn’t love other albums by Cage The Elephant, this one offers a lot of new sounds and you should check it out!
Facebook Comments: Keep 'em clean folks!
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