Cage the Elephant

Tell Me I’m Pretty


Jan 01, 2016 Web Exclusive Bookmark and Share

In the press release for his band's latest offering, Tell Me I'm Pretty, Matt Shultz of Cage the Elephant declares "We wanted to capture the sentiment of each song, and whatever emotional response it provoked, to be really honest to that." At first, it's tempting to investigate whether that's an old quote regarding their last record, Melophobia. From the unapologetic dry balladry of "Cigarette Daydreams" to "Spiderhead"'s frantic claustrophobia, it was a record that felt studious and observant; a raw and poetic, desperately youthful indie rock record. On Tell Me I'm Pretty, however, it would seem that Schultz and his band's vision completely fell through. As a lead single, "Mess Around" is utterly forgettable, almost sounding like a forgotten Kasabian B-side. Even when the band dig into their sentiment ("How Are You True") they struggle to articulate half as affectingly as before, and it comes across massively ungenuine in a way that you could never accuse Cage of sounding prior to this record. Sure, Tell Me I'm Pretty tops up the amount of accessible indie rock cuts that Cage the Elephant can bring to festival main stages across the globe, and they'll probably go down a storm, too. The issue here, though, is that the band seemed more than capable of leaping ahead of their radio-friendly indie counterparts, but slip right back into the abyss with their least ambitious LP to date. (  

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