Album Review: Tell Me I’m Pretty by Cage the Elephant

Natalie Ditsler

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Natalie Ditsler

This is the fourth full album the band has made. Cage the Elephant started up in 2006.

Cage the Elephant, formed in 2006, have released their new album Tell Me I’m Pretty and it is a call to the past. The fourth album tips towards bands like the Beatles with a strong bass guitar and 70’s esque sound. They manage to still let their original sound shine through in certain songs, just in a more tamed and mature way. Though the sound is nostalgic and enjoyable, it isn’t completely unique. The album won’t be what people think of when Cage the Elephant is mentioned. For that reason the album is rated 3 stars.

One song from their album that really stands out is “Too Late to Say Goodbye”. The chorus is repetitive and memorable. This song, like many in Tell Me I’m Pretty is mellow and darker sounding. The underwater-sounding vocals along with the echoing chords make me think of a rainy day. Matt Shultz really gets to show off his haunting voice with this song. The only complaint would be that it doesn’t feel new. The sounds are something that have been heard before from the Arctic Monkeys. The song is enjoyable, but once again isn’t a step in a new direction.

Another standout song from the album would be “Trouble”. It has a very psychedelic sound that is perfectly imperfect. It also has a memorable chorus, due to repetition and catchiness. The dreamy guitar gives the song a brighter sound even though it’s about having troubles. During the verses of the song Shultz sounds like he’s whispering directly to the listener. It catches attention and brings out the lyrics.

The song “Punchin’ Bag” steers away from the more psychedelic songs in the album towards a rock vibe. The song has attitude and it is a relief from the more mellow and sad songs. It is a combination of their original sound and their maturity that seems to move in a direction that would demand attention.

The album as a whole is enjoyable and fun to listen to, but fails to stick in the mind. It isn’t particularly new to the ear and just doesn’t quite stand out among the artists it seems to be inspired by. With that in mind I think that Cage the Elephant has more songs like “Punchin’ Bag” up their sleeves and may show that in the future.