Review: Cage The Elephant – Thank You…

Artist: Cage The Elephant
Album: Thank You, Happy Birthday
Genre: Alternative Rock
Label: Jive

Thank you, Happy Birthday has a special significance to me. I’ve watched Cage The Elephant grow up along side me. Being the hometown heroes of Bowling Green, Kentucky (my current residence), I used to have these boys on the radio when I was a humble local music host. Now, seeing their sophomre album being released, and having it drop on my 23rd Birthday? That’s a thank you I can handle.

Initially upon tearing into the album, I was nervous. A lot of hype in area said the new stuff was a big change, and they were right. Cage The Elephant has gotten a little more grimy and electronic, and I can say it’s absolutely a breath of fresh air. Sure, the charming twang everyone fell in love with from their debut album is gone. However, They’ve grown and have the same hook everyone had been hooked on all along. The first single “Shake Me Down” is a retrospect from where they are now, and how they’re looking up. And, that is the attitude that more people should be taking on. Cage the Elephant is just setting the soundtrack to help along the way. The album however also has several key high points.

The track “Indy Kidz” is a shot a the popular hipster culture, which is sort of ballsy for Cage The Elephant considering who their target audience. However, kudos to them for not holding back and making music they can stand by. While “2024” takes a charge and jumps forward in the album. Signature Matt Shultz anger comes out as he says “and now you’re walking through the door, just like 2024”, ranting at what could be considered an ex. This song is the perfect shot at that ex of your choice. The apex of the entire album is “Sell Yourself” (Which will hopefully be a single) in which Shultz has every bit of anger, wit, and charm that everyone has come to love and adore from Cage The Elephant.

Overall, Thank You, Happy Birthday is well built with flow and dynamic. It can easily be picked up and listened to from start to finish, and that’s hardly a quality you find in music today. However, the album does have a major week point that sells it a shade short of perfect, which is the repetitiveness of some of the albums tracks. If you can look over some overused melodies that you’ll undoubtedly find reoccurring amongst the tracks, you’ll fall in love. If not, well, it won’t ruin things, but it may take a bit longer to warm up to.

Score: 8/10
Review written by: Laura Haggard

James Shotwell

James Shotwell is the founder of Under The Gun Review. He loves writing about music and movies almost as much as he loves his two fat cats. He's also the co-founder of Antique Records and the Marketing Coordinator for Haulix. You should probably follow him on Twitter.

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  • Heather

    Great review — really enjoying this new album. Hoping to catch them on tour sometime this spring…fingers crossed!

  • Great review of Cage The Elphant’s new album! The band truly is amazing to see and evolving in their records. I’m stoked with this release. The entire album is streaming on their MySpace for new fans to listen http://www.myspace.com/cagetheelephant/music/albums/thank-you-happy-birthday-17195190

  • Leah

    Love the new album as well! “Shake Me Down” is my favorite song… the new video for it is pretty great, too! I can’t wait to see them on tour… Feb 24th in STL! What’s up! So excited… :)