Cage the Elephant – Thank You Happy Birthday
Cage the Elephant’s Thank You Happy Birthday takes you on a roller coaster ride through an amalgam of 90s rock. In the layers of drums, guitars, bass and slightly nasal vocals, you’ll hear influences of the Pixies who experimented with sonic textures; effect laden guitars, ala Smashing Pumpkins; simple chord structures in the vein of Blink 182; lyrics that resemble Oasis penchant for imagery.
Always Something leads the album off with a slightly electronica track with a cynical take on modern life–catching your girl with another guy, violence against a homeless guy. Modern stuff. Aberdeen has the first catchy hook on the disc as it builds into a shout about a girl. Indy Kidz is driven by frenetic vocals and sawing guitars with the song building to a Rage Against the Machine like spoken word outtro. Shake Me Down seems to be the lone misfire on the album with no memorable hook. 2024 feels like something Blink 182 would do if they were serious about life. Sell Yourself is an angry more primal, cynical commentary on people selling themselves for a quick buck. Then the album drops in tempo to a warbling ballad, Rubber Ball about trying hard to do good things. With Right Before My Eyes, Around My Head, Japanese Buffalo and Flow… you’re in the final stretch of the ride, where each song will remind you of something you’ve heard before.
Lastly, after the closing track, the band offers a more down beat take on Right Before My Eyes, where the slower, ballad like tempo fit the lyrics better.