Tell Me I'm Pretty

Cage The Elephant

RCA, 2015

http://www.cagetheelephant.com

REVIEW BY: Pete Crigler

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED: 01/05/2016

On their fourth record, Cage The Elephant has started to hit the skids; this is really where the ruts start to set in. The disc kicks off with “Cry Baby,” a very lackluster track that doesn’t seem to have the same feel or energy as tracks from the band’s past. Next up, the main track and first single “Mess Around” is their best song in quite some time. Quick, bouncy and tailor-made both for rock radio and for the ears, it’s one of the catchiest rock singles of the year.my_heart_sings_the_harmony_web_ad_alt_250

The record as a whole is a very disappointing affair – very downbeat and unexpectedly mellow,  unlike the last three Cage records. Some have said it’s because Dan Auerbach of the Black Keys produced this disc. Generally not being a fan of the Black Keys, I can’t tell the similarities; all I know is that this disc is lacking a lot of the band’s normal energy and is more of the type of disc that you listen to on a grey, overcast day, not driving around with the top down.

The record does have a couple of other decent tracks, including “Punchin’ Bag” and “Cold Cold Cold.” The latter has some really great guitar work, while the former is a great candidate for a second single as it has some of the best energy found on the entire disc; it would also sound really good blaring out of the radio.

“That’s Right” also has some spunk and energy, but it isn’t enough to save the overall spirit of the record. I just couldn’t help but be disappointed by this record because I tend to look at Cage The Elephant as one of the last real alternative rock bands out there. They don’t need to rely on electronics and keyboards to come across to a modern audience. But this record is the type that has killed certain bands in the past, so I hope Cage can make a grand comeback on the next disc.

Rating: C

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