Cage the Elephant has released their fourth studio album, Tell Me I’m Pretty. Unlike their first three, which were produced by Nashville’s Jay Joyce, TMIP bring’s in The Black Keys’/Arcs’ Dan Auerbach. After touring with The Black Keys in 2014 the band shared some new music with Auerbach. It wasn’t long before he responded “Dude, I’m making your next record!”. Definitely reminiscent of The Keys’ raw, grungy, yet still somehow poppy sound on “Mess Around” and “Cold Cold Cold”, it is clear Auerbach has shared some of his secrets of sound with the Kentucky rockers. Yet that’s not all there is to this. This is NOT just Cage the Elephant “doing” The Black Keys. It sounds as if the band is continuing to find themselves and learn from/write about real life experiences. As with their previous records their sound is evolving with the times in which they are living, while still staying true to the sounds that have influenced them.
The band touches on domestic violence in “Punchin’ Bag” and depression on “Cold Cold Cold”. In an interview with Madison Vain of Entertainment Weekly, Shultz spoke of how raw emotion and the DESIRE TO PROVOKE EMOTION helped to writing the lyrics for the album. They also reference one of their earlier hits with the lyrics “You know what they say, the wicked get no rest” in “Trouble”, an ear-perking line for long time fans. The band’s Melophobia was nominated for a Grammy for Best Alternative Rock Album in 2015, where St. Vincent took the gramophone. They look to, hopefully, earn that nomination yet again with TMIP in 2016. Cage will do a U.K. tour in mid-February, followed by shows in France, Germany, Netherlands, and Denmark. They are also set to play Hangout Music Fest in May alongside Florence + The Machine, Alabama Shakes, and more. If you’re awarded the opportunity to see Cage the Elephant I highly recommend jumping at the chance. Their high-energy Kentucky ruckus is sure to entertain you.