Cage the Elephant: Tell Me I’m Pretty review – puppyish energy, obvious influences


On their fourth album, Kentucky’s oft-critically scorned Cage the Elephant try to push beyond the gains of 2013’s Melophobia – which attempted to shed obvious influences such as Pixies – with mixed results. Tell Me I’m Pretty is produced by the Black Keys’ Dan Auerbach, and you can tell by the vanilla-psych filter that dissipates some of Cage’s usual puppyish energy. And there are still a few too many touchstones: opener Cry Baby tries to out-pronk Tame Impala, Trouble is a dead ringer for 1990s Frank Black, and closer Portuguese Knife Fight rearranges the building blocks of the Stooges. All the songs are good, mind: well structured, varied, winning. It’s just that as always, you can’t imagine them ever being anyone’s favourite band.


Emily Mackay

The GuardianTramp

Related Content

Article image
CD: Cage the Elephant, Cage the Elephant


Michael Hann

19, Jun, 2008 @11:13 PM

Cage the Elephant, Cockpit, Leeds

Cockpit, Leeds

Dave Simpson

13, Jun, 2008 @1:44 AM

Article image
Pulp – review

Pulp prove that reunions don't have to be cynical cash-ins with this superb show crowning a triumphant comeback, writes Kitty Empire

Kitty Empire

04, Sep, 2011 @7:10 PM

Cage the Elephant: Thank You Happy Birthday - review
The Kentucky rockers toughen up and win themselves a fan in Betty Clarke

Betty Clarke

17, Mar, 2011 @10:20 PM

Article image
No 268: Cage the Elephant

Today, Paul Lester heads down to Kentucky to find a group led by a preening, prancing narcissist who wants you to have group sex

05, Feb, 2008 @5:22 PM

Article image
Bestival Q&A: Cage the Elephant

They are such nice guys that they will happily throw themselves down in the mud for people to walk on top of them so they won't get dirty

Daniel Martin

08, Sep, 2008 @9:15 AM

Article image
Pixies, Brixton Academy, London

It is usually advisable to avoid reunions, but the Pixies' first British gig for more than 10 years triumphantly destroyed that notion.

Kitty Empire

06, Jun, 2004 @12:22 PM

Tame Impala: Lonerism – review
For all the psychedelic soundscapes, Aussie three-piece Tame Impala have retained their knack for a good tune on their second album, writes Phil Mongredien

Phil Mongredien

06, Oct, 2012 @11:04 PM

Article image
Pixies: Indie Cindy review – a 'craven cash-in'

The loss of bassist Kim Deal and the lack of any really new material make this first album in 23 years an anticlimax, writes Kitty Empire

Kitty Empire

27, Apr, 2014 @10:00 AM

Article image
Tame Impala – review
Their album has won rave reviews but Tame Impala only take off on stage when they let themselves run wild, writes Killian Fox

Killian Fox

04, Nov, 2012 @12:05 AM