“They say I’m just a stupid kid /A crazy radical / Rock and roll is dead / I probably should’ve stayed in school” Mathew Shultz sings in the opener “In One Ear”. And while rock and roll is dead as we knew it back in the 70’s and 80’s, Cage The Elephant’s vocalist is no stupid kid. In fact, by blending style with rhythm, the band created here one of the best albums of the 2000s.
Cage The Elephant is filled with intricate lyrics, dazzling songs and killer hooks. Mixing the rhythm that the Red Hot Chilly Peppers apply so well with the clever lyrics Arctic Monkeys are becoming so well known for, Cage The Elephant manages to sound different from anything you have heard this decade.
Songs like “James Brown” attack the originality of the musicians today, “Ain’t No Rest For The Wicked” features a brief story about hookers and thiefs with snappy dialogue and “Lotus” is just plain fun.
There is nothing ambitious here, or even remotely melodic, but it’s for the best. Cage The Elephant are at their best when they aren’t giving us a second to breathe and when Shultz is spouting lyrics about politics.
So, if you have been disappointed with rock and roll in this decade, Cage The Elephant is an excellent alternative to The Rolling Stones’ albums you’ve been rocking to since the 80s.
Listen to: In One Ear, Ain’t No Rest For The Wicked, Lotus.