.
http://assets-s3.rollingstone.com/assets/images/album_review/b653e36ffcc3961ac7806a03ddaff6efb1d9a4cd.jpg Thank You Happy Birthday

Cage the Elephant

Thank You Happy Birthday

Jive
Rolling Stone: star rating
Community: star rating
5 3.5 0
32
January 11, 2011

Click to listen to Cage the Elephant's "Shake Me Down"

Can a nostalgia trip also be future shock? Cage the Elephant think so. The Kentucky band's 2009 debut staked out a middle ground between crusty classic sounds — punk, garage, blues — and the digitized sheen of the 21st century, earning the group a rock-radio hit in "Ain't No Rest for the Wicked." Thank You Happy Birthday begins in the same territory: Over the atmospheric fuzz and wobbly funk of "Always Something," singer Matthew Shultz is full of wide-eyed paranoia. "Around the corner/There's always something waiting for ya," he sings in a shriek that owes something to Liam Gallagher and something to a power mower.

Breaking: Cage the Elephant

Cage the Elephant keep up the high-strung racket for most of Thank You Happy Birthday, zipping through broadsides like "Sell Yourself" and "Indy Kidz," which rails against television and bohemian trendies. Cage the Elephant treat their guitars like percussion instruments, filling the songs with all kinds of clanging, crashing and thudding, and augmenting the clamor with buzzing keyboards. They have a secret weapon, too: pop melody. "Shake Me Down" is all dreamy Beatlesque psychedelia, and in "Rubber Ball," Cage quiet down for a hushed lullaby. Shultz coos, "All I got is nothing but a little bit of love." He's got another thing, actually: one of rock's best young bands.

Gallery: Keep up with rock's hottest photos in Random Notes

32
prev
Album Review Main Next

ADD A COMMENT

Community Guidelines »
loading comments

loading comments...

COMMENTS

Sort by:
    Read More
    Daily Newsletter

    Get the latest RS news in your inbox.

    Sign up to receive the Rolling Stone newsletter and special offers from RS and its
    marketing partners.

    X

    We may use your e-mail address to send you the newsletter and offers that may interest you, on behalf of Rolling Stone and its partners. For more information please read our Privacy Policy.

    Song Stories

    “Bleeding Love”

    Leona Lewis | 2007

    In 2008, The X Factor winner Leona Lewis backed up her U.K. singing competition victory with an R&B anthem for the ages: "Bleeding Love," an international hit that became the best-selling song of the year. The track was co-penned by OneRepublic's Ryan Tedder (whose radio dominance would continue with songs such as Beyonce's "Halo" and Adele's "Rumour Has It") and solo artist Jesse McCartney, who was inspired by a former girlfriend, Gossip Girl actress Katie Cassidy. Given the song's success, McCartney didn't regret handing over such a personal track: "No, no," he said. "I'm so happy for Leona. She deserves it. There are really no bad feelings."

    More Song Stories entries »
    www.expandtheroom.com