What happened to Cage The Elephant? : An opinion

Finbarr Brennan

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Cage The Elephant are a rock band originally from Bowling Green, Kentucky; now based in Nashville, Tennessee. The band consists of: Matt Shultz (lead vocals, occasional guitar), Brad Shultz (rhythm, lead guitar), Jared Champion (drums and percussion),  Daniel Tichenor (bass guitar, backing vocals), Nick Bockrath (lead guitar, backing vocals) and Matthan Minster (piano, keyboards, backing vocals).

Formed in 2006, Cage The Elephant released their first album in 2009, a self-titled album. The album was met with critical acclaim. The album is the parent album to the band’s first mainstream hit song, “Ain’t No Rest for the Wicked”.

This song peaked at number 83 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart in 2009. The song featured in several TV shows and video games. The song is a great indication to first -time listeners as to what the band is all about (what they *were* all about anyway).

Their second album, “Thank You, Happy Birthday”, was released in 2011. This album is considered by fans and critics as an experimental album. This is apparent straight off the bat, with the first song: “Always Something”.

This album has a plethora of different music genres such as: punk blues, indie rock and noise rock. The album’s first single, “Shake Me Down” reached number 1 on the Billboard Rock Song chart in 2011. The album was, once again, met with critical acclaim.

The album led to the band making several TV appearance. The band were on the up and up. Next came the band’s third album, Melophobia. This album debuted at number 15 the Billboard 200 ablum chart. The album’s third single, “Cigarette Daydreams”, reached number 19 in the US Mainstream Rock chart. The video below is lead singer, Matt Shultz performing an acoustic version of the song for Rolling Stone Magazine.

After success yet again with Melophobia, the band’s follow-up album was eagerly anticipated. The next album arrived in 2015, titled “Tell Me I’m Pretty“. This album unfortunately didn’t deliver. Upon the first listen to their latest effort, one is immediately hit with the original sound that CTE fans love so much, but a much more watered down version. The band decided to take a softer approach to their sound, as opposed to the energetic and explosive sound that fans are already familiar with.

The fact that Dan Aeurbach (of The Black Keys) produced the album, confirms that his influence from a more radio-friendly and softer sound was too influencial on the band. Speaking on behalf of their fans, we all  hope that their next effort brings them back to their roots. Fans want the blues rock sound that the band started off with. We respect their decision to experiment, as seen in their previous albums. But, their latest effort isn’t a good reputation of their potential and abilities.

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Finbarr Brennan