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Panther Prints

Thank You for the damaged ears Cage the Elephant

Cage the Elephant releases 'Thank you Happy Birthday.' Not recommended for listening pleasure.

In 2008, Cage the Elephant took America by storm, throwing down a selection of alternative rock-blues hits. Their first self-titled album was a mix of Beck, CAKE, and the Arctic Monkeys, remixing a style that was already so popular they made mega-radio play.

So when their second album, “Thank You Happy Birthday” hit stores at the beginning of the New Year, Jan. 11, expectations were high for something more original and fun. And then, with a bubble of excitement, you press play on the third track (the first two seem decent enough) and you realize you’ve made a horrible mistake.

“Thank You Happy Birthday” seems like it’s gone three steps in the wrong direction. With the first two tracks, “Always Something” and “Aberdeen” the heavy influence of 90’s grunge just pours out. It’s fine at first, great bands were immortalized in the 90’s, like Nirvana, and it’s good to see the sound coming back into style as it was definitely something inventive. “Shake Me Down” the single that’s to bring attention to the album is good too, the song makes you believe that Cage The Elephant actually grew a little bit after their first hit single, “Aint No Rest for the Wicked.”

But even these tracks are nothing to keep on your iPod or youtube playlists because to be honest, Collective Soul, Bush, Finger Eleven…they all did it first and they all did it better.

CTE’s second album is a big disappointment. It’s very experimental, as if it’s a demo CD. They sound like they don’t have a great record deal with Jive/Relentless/Universal. The album goes everywhere it shouldn’t; there is no collective sound to tie it all together. In fact, there are only bits and pieces left of what made them loveable in the first place. Perhaps if you can get over the obnoxious screaming-no-talent-guitar-squealing-drum-mess that is in slightly over half the album, you’ll love it. But if you can’t, then you’ll just have to thank Matthew Shultz for forgetting that his voice was definitely not made for whatever it was he was going for in this album.

Be careful if you decide to give this album a try, your ears may start bleeding.

I give this album 1/5 panther paws.

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