Tell Me I'm Pretty

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Tell Me I'm Pretty
Cage the Elephant - Tell Me I'm Pretty.png
Studio album by
ReleasedDecember 18, 2015
RecordedSpring 2015
StudioEasy Eye Sound, Nashville, Tennessee
ProducerDan Auerbach
Cage the Elephant chronology
Tell Me I'm Pretty
Singles from Tell Me I'm Pretty
  1. "Mess Around"
    Released: October 29, 2015
  2. "Trouble"
    Released: April 26, 2016
  3. "Cold Cold Cold"
    Released: January 17, 2017[5]
Professional ratings
Aggregate scores
Review scores
The Guardian4/5 stars[3]
AllMusic3.5/5 stars[8]
Consequence of SoundB-[9]
The Observer3/5 stars[10]
The A.V. ClubB[11]
Rolling Stone3.5/5 stars[12]
Drowned in Sound8/10[2]

Tell Me I'm Pretty is the fourth studio album by American rock band Cage the Elephant. It was released on December 18, 2015, and was announced online on October 5, 2015. The album was recorded in the spring of 2015 at Easy Eye Sound in Nashville, Tennessee.[13] Vocalist Matt Shultz stated: "With this record, we wanted to be more transparent. We wanted to capture the sentiment of each song, and whatever emotional response it provoked, to be really honest to that."

On October 29, 2015, the band released the first single from the album, "Mess Around", accompanied by a music video which was created using footage from the 1902 film A Trip to the Moon and other films by Georges Méliès.[14] Two other songs, "Trouble" and "Too Late to Say Goodbye", were made available for download before the album's release. The second single "Trouble" was sent to alternative radio on April 26, 2016.[15] The album won the award for Best Rock Album at the 59th Grammy Awards.


Cage the Elephant recruited Dan Auerbach of The Black Keys to produce Tell Me I'm Pretty, with Matt describing him as "reactive" and keeping the band second-guessing themselves, urging scratch vocals and emphasizing first takes.[16]


The first single, "Mess Around", was initially criticized by some for sounding too similar to material by the Black Keys; however, after the song "Trouble" was released as a preview in November, vocalist Matt Shultz told Alternative Nation, "...the songs have so much diversity in them that I don’t feel like any song is representative of the entire album, kind of like each sound has its own personality." Matt also said that the band found inspiration in David Bowie for his eclectic and ever-changing style.[16]

Critical reception[edit]

Tell Me I'm Pretty received generally favorable reviews from music critics. According to review aggregator Metacritic, the album has an average critic review score of 73/100, based on 16 reviews.[17] Writing for Exclaim!, Daniel Sylvester said that frontman Matthew Shultz "has hit the mark lyrically and vocally here, inviting listeners into the emotionally charged and honest world that Cage the Elephant inhabit."[7]

Tell Me I'm Pretty won Best Rock Album at the 59th Annual Grammy Awards on February 12, 2017.[1]

Track listing[edit]

All tracks written by Cage the Elephant.

1."Cry Baby"4:07
2."Mess Around"2:53
3."Sweetie Little Jean"3:44
4."Too Late to Say Goodbye"4:12
5."Cold Cold Cold"3:34
7."How Are You True"4:40
8."That's Right"3:52
9."Punchin' Bag"3:47
10."Portuguese Knife Fight"3:37
Total length:38:11


Personnel adapted from album liner notes.[18]

Cage the Elephant
Additional musicians
  • Dan Auerbach − rhythm guitar, keyboards, backing vocals
  • Nick Bockrath − lead guitar, backing vocals
  • Matthan Minster − keyboards, backing vocals, percussion
  • Dan Auerbach − production, arrangements
  • Ira Chernova − photography
  • Emily Davis − hand tinting
  • Collin Dupuis − engineering
  • Tom Elmhirst − mixing
  • Meghan Foley − art direction
  • Brian Lucey - mastering
  • Moses Moreno − styling
  • Juliette Buchs Shultz − additional design, additional photography
  • Matt Shultz − art direction
  • Kane Stewart − senior design graphic artist
  • Danny Tomczak - assistant production


Chart (2015) Peak
Canadian Albums (Billboard)[19] 30
US Billboard 200[20] 26


  1. ^ a b "15. Best Rock Album - 59th Annual Grammy Awards Official Site". The Recording Academy. Retrieved February 4, 2017.
  2. ^ a b "Album Review: Cage the Elephant – Tell Me I'm Pretty". Drowned in Sound. Retrieved October 1, 2016.
  3. ^ a b c Simpson, Dave (January 7, 2016). "Cage the Elephant: Tell Me I'm Pretty review – hard-punching, well-oiled rock". The Guardian. Retrieved October 1, 2016.
  4. ^ Fricke, David (January 5, 2016). "Cage the Elephant on Escaping Kentucky, Sibling Rivalry, Trippy New LP". Rolling Stone. Retrieved February 6, 2017.
  5. ^ "Alternative Future Releases". All Access Music Group. Archived from the original on November 19, 2016.
  6. ^ "Tell Me I'm Pretty by Cage the Elephant". Retrieved October 1, 2016.
  7. ^ a b Sylvester, Daniel (December 16, 2015). "Cage the Elephant - Tell Me I'm Pretty". Exclaim!. Retrieved December 17, 2015.
  8. ^ "Tell Me I'm Pretty - Cage the Elephant - Songs, Reviews, Credits - AllMusic". Retrieved October 1, 2016.
  9. ^ "Album Review: Cage the Elephant – Tell Me I'm Pretty". December 22, 2015. Retrieved October 1, 2016.
  10. ^ Mackay, Emily (December 13, 2015). "Cage the Elephant: Tell Me I'm Pretty review – puppyish energy, obvious influences". The Observer. Retrieved October 1, 2016.
  11. ^ "Cage The Elephant chills out on the radio-ready Tell Me I'm Pretty". December 18, 2015. Retrieved October 1, 2016.
  12. ^ "Cage the Elephant 'Tell Me I'm Pretty' Album Review". Retrieved October 1, 2016.
  13. ^ "Cage the Elephant announce new album Tell Me I'm Pretty, produced by Dan Auerbach". October 7, 2015. Retrieved October 1, 2016.
  14. ^ CageTheElephantVEVO (October 29, 2015). "Cage The Elephant - Mess Around". Retrieved October 1, 2016 – via YouTube.
  15. ^ "FMQB: Radio Industry News, Music Industry Updates, Nielsen Ratings, Music News and more!". Archived from the original on April 20, 2016. Retrieved April 20, 2016.
  16. ^ a b "Interview: Cage The Elephant Singer Talks Black Keys Comparisons On Mess Around". Alternative Nation. November 2015. Archived from the original on November 25, 2015. Retrieved November 25, 2015. Cite uses deprecated parameter |dead-url= (help)
  17. ^ "Critic Reviews for Tell Me I'm Pretty". Metacritic. CBS Interactive. Retrieved June 24, 2015.
  18. ^ "Cage The Elephant - Tell Me I'm Pretty". Retrieved October 1, 2016.
  19. ^ "Cage the Elephant Chart History (Canadian Albums)". Billboard. Retrieved December 29, 2015.
  20. ^ "Cage the Elephant Chart History (Billboard 200)". Billboard. Retrieved December 29, 2015.