Cage The Elephant are a rare example of a band who outgrew their fanbase over time and seem to mature effortlessly from album to album, with Tell Me I’m Pretty as the latest and most developed iteration of the band’s sound to date.
The most striking feature of Tell Me I’m Pretty is its reconciliation with their early discography – incorporating more elements of bluegrass/Western-tinged indie than on any release since 2008. This is most evident on the album’s tail end, with easy parallels to be drawn between tracks like ‘Punchin’ Bag’ and ‘That’s Right’ to their debut album. This is not to say that the innovation on Melophobia is absent, it features heavily on the more eclectic ‘Cold Cold Cold’ and ‘Trouble’. If there is one specific weakness, it is that the tracklisting on this album could have been better considered, with poor choices for the opening and closing tracks especially. Overall this is probably Cage The Elephant’s most cohesive release yet, and should appeal to most indie rock fans without becoming derivative or succumbing to mediocrity.
[Nour El-Issa – @dimredspectre]