Thank You Happy Birthday by Cage The Elephant

From the moment you press play on Thank You Happy Birthday, you’re in for a ride, and you know it. The oddly titled album kicks off with the haunting Always Something, which takes a page from Cage the Elephant’s hit Ain’t No Rest For the Wicked’s playbook. From there you’re either on a psychedelic journey with Aberdeen or hearing you’re own heart break with the perpetually sad Shake Me Down. The question, however, remains. Just how does Thank You Happy Birthday stack up?

Vocals on Thank You Happy Birthday range from moans and screams on Indy Kidz to regularly sung on Aberdeen to all sorts of weird on Japanese Buffalo. It’s difficult to even judge the vocals due to the sheer range of types on the record. Lets leave it at this: they have their ups and downs.

The songwriting and musicianship on Thank You Happy Birthday is much on parwith the bands self titled debut release, that is, fast by default and mellow at all the right places.  You’ll also see the introduction of some electro elements which give a some songs, such as Indy Kidz, a unique feel. Luckily these effects are not overused and don’t do anything to degrade the integrity of the record.

In the end, when the record has stopped, you’ll have seen some of the best Cage the Elephant has to offer and some of the worst they’ve displayed so far. The record left me pining for more songs in the vain of Aberdeen and Shake Me Down, which prove to be the bands real niche in the industry.

Thank You Happy Birthday gets a 3.5 out of 5.

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