50 Best Albums of 2011

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Cage the Elephant, 'Thank You Happy Birthday'

15. Cage the Elephant, 'Thank You Happy Birthday'

Cage the Elephant rock out like they're the national champs of college radio circa 1992 and their big mainstream breakthrough is just a nanosecond away – it's retro but undeniably fun, and one of the year's coolest throwback looks. The Kentuckians blast out sugar-punk noise riffs à la the Pixies and Nirvana, and cover them in bright, bracing Sixties garage- rock melodies as they complain about hipsters, school and TV. And they give their Nineties sound a modern digital polish. Singer Matthew Shultz's fake British accent only adds to the transporting sense of rock & roll fantasy.

Jody Rosen's Original Review: Cage the Elephant's 'Thank You Happy Birthday'
Video: Cage the Elephant's Rolling Stone Live Video Playlist

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