REVIEW: Cage The Elephant’s “Tell Me I’m Pretty”

Kentucky based indie rock band Cage The Elephant published their forth studio album at the beginning of this year and it is just like you expected, or maybe even better.

EDITED BY ZAHNA EKLUND

As a band known for their encapsulated energy and charming mischievousness, Cage The Elephant‘s new record must have been a bittersweet surprise for their long-established fans. For anybody who has never heard of the band, they can be described as a mix of the rock-blues side of Alabama Shakes with a lyrical daring defiance of The Last Shadow Puppets and a pinch of Grouplove’s dream-pop.

Tell Me I'm Pretty

With songs like “Cold Cold Cold”, it’s the type of music you have been unconsciously waiting for to fill these lonely, rainy Sunday mornings. Or those times when you can just completely lose yourself by indulging in your thoughts, daydreaming of an idealistic life that will never be yours while having “Trouble” playing in the background.

In comparison to the work they have done previously, this album seems less rebellious and funky but instead, as if the musicians had grown up and are finally looking back on their past, something which is expressed through a feeling of melancholy and a persistent nostalgia in their songs, especially those towards the end.

I remember clearly we were both there on the airplane
Told me all your secrets, oh I never saw it coming
I thought that you were joking
You were actually quite serious”
(How are you true)

The impact of The Black Keys singer Dan Auerbach is crystal clear for anyone who’s familiar with his style, giving it a mix of 60s psychedelia, electro, neo-blues and its usual garage rock. Despite a remarkable difference in themes, sound and technique-wise “Tell Me I’m Pretty” is most similar to their 2013 album “Melophobia”, being just as catchy with heaps of rhythm. The band’s songwriting has become a lot more sophisticated and powerful with lead singer Matt Shultz’s voice sounding honest when singing about themes like self-doubt, regret and being torn to make a choice: holding on or letting go.

“Got so much to lose,
Got so much to prove,
God, don’t let me lose my mind.
I said it was love and I did it for life, did it for you.”
(Trouble)

It’s funny how paradox the next statement must sound, but it’s the truth. On the whole, the record sounds classic, retro and timeless all at once. On this note I’ll stop fangirling and let you discover your latest musical obsession, you’re welcome.

Cage The Elephant‘s fourth album Tell Me I’m Pretty is available now.