A Pretty Bluesy Album
Dan Auerbach releases the elephant from its cage. Kentucky-based rock band Cage the Elephant teamed up with one of The Black Keys, who produced their latest album Tell Me I’m Pretty. Frontman Matthew Schultz stated that Auerbach helped them to not over-think too much and shared with them his expertise in a wide range of music. Many of the songs were recorded in only one or two takes and bear a more blues-y style, not unlike that of The Black Keys.
While “Mess Around,” the album’s first single, is gaining a lot of popularity on the radio, Cage the Elephant try to see their entire album as a collection of singles. They really try to make each song the best that it can be, and rarely do they disappoint. For this album, Schultz stated his songwriting technique involved telling a story with each song, even taking on different characters to do so. This is evident in “Too Late to Say Goodbye,” for example, which Schultz says is about the story of Bonnie and Clyde –how Bonnie fell in love with the wrong guy, or, in this song’s version, a pyromaniac. Likewise, “Punchin’ Bag” seems to convey a girl standing up for herself in an abusive relationship. Further, the band uses a narrative style (one that is, albeit, a bit difficult to follow) in their music video for “Mess Around,” which contains clips from the film “A Trip to the Moon” (1902).
Cage the Elephant also did a good job in creating each song to be clear and self-evident in the emotions they evoke. “Trouble” has both gentle, sweet-sounding guitar riffs in its verses and more melancholic guitar riffs in the bridge. Similarly, “Cold, Cold, Cold” captures Schultz’s emotions throughout his singing. He sounds calm in the verses and then more desperate as he pleads for the doctor’s help, finally exclaiming “Cold, Cold, Cold!” in the chorus.
Overall, Tell Me I’m Pretty definitely deserves your confirmation of how appealing it is.