Thank You, Happy Birthday

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Thank You Happy Birthday
Cagetheelephant thank-you-happy-birthday.jpg
Studio album by
ReleasedJanuary 11, 2011
RecordedTragedy Studios, Nashville, Tennessee 2009-2010
LabelJive (US)
Universal (Canada)
Relentless (UK)
ProducerJay Joyce
Cage the Elephant chronology
Cage the Elephant
Thank You Happy Birthday
Singles from Thank You Happy Birthday
  1. "Shake Me Down"
    Released: November 22, 2010
  2. "Around My Head"
    Released: May 4, 2011
  3. "Aberdeen"
    Released: September 15, 2011
  4. "Always Something"
    Released: September 11, 2011

Thank You Happy Birthday is the second studio album by American rock band Cage the Elephant. It was released on January 11, 2011[1] to positive critical reception.[2] The album was produced by Jay Joyce, who worked in the same capacity on the band's eponymous debut album.

Recording and production[edit]

The album was originally announced in July 2009 when the band had stated that they would release it in early 2010 with the title Computer Says Move.[3] The group had recorded over eighty songs but shelved all of them when they realized that "nobody was really into" any of the ideas.[4] The group then took ideas that they had saved for "side projects" and decided to use those songs for the album, which was then given the current title.[5] The band once again worked with Jay Joyce, who had helped them record their first album. The band had trouble recording the songs, with lead singer Matt Shultz in particular having trouble finding the inspiration to write the lyrics for songs such as "Flow."[6] The group was able to work out twelve songs for the album, stating: "We want each of our songs to sound like it's been written by a different band."[7]

Track listing[edit]

1."Always Something"3:41
3."Indy Kidz"5:02
4."Shake Me Down"3:31
6."Sell Yourself"2:11
7."Rubber Ball"3:47
8."Right Before My Eyes"3:14
9."Around My Head"3:11
10."Sabertooth Tiger"2:51
11."Japanese Buffalo"3:03
13."Right Before My Eyes (alternate take)" (Hidden track)3:56
Total length:45:20

B sides[edit]

1."Carry Me In"5:58
2."Doctor Doctor Doctor, Help Me Help Me Help Me"2:14


The first single, titled "Shake Me Down", was released on November 22, 2010, and was announced by the band via their Twitter account as being played on radio stations from November 17 onward. Also on November 17, they released an unofficial video for the song. On January 11, 2011, the official video was released.[8] For the week of February 25 through March 5, 2011, the single was number 1 on Billboard Rock Songs chart.[9] In the week of January 11 the band was named the MTV PUSH artist of the week.[10]

On the November 18, 2010, "2024" was made a free download on Filter magazine's website.

On December 27, 2010, "Around My Head" was released as the free song of the week on iTunes. The song was later released as an official single on 4 May 2011.[11] In the week of 6 July 2011, the single charted at number 18 on Billboard Alternative Songs.[12]

The second track on the album, "Aberdeen" was released as a single on September 15, 2011.[13]


The album was released on January 11, 2011 and on its first day debuted at number 1 on the iTunes Top Downloads chart. That same night, the group appeared on the Late Show with David Letterman.[14] During its first week of release, the album sold over 39,000 copies in the US, debuting at number 2 on the Billboard 200.[15] On 27 January 2011 the band promoted the album even further, performing "Shake Me Down" and "Aberdeen" on Jimmy Kimmel Live! for the Jimmy Kimmel Live! Concert Series on ABC.[16] Shortly after this, the group performed "Shake Me Down" on Fuel TV program The Daily Habit.[17]

The album was released in the UK on March 21, 2011.[18]

A vinyl version of the album was released, included in the package was a 7-inch single of the acoustic version of "Right Before My Eyes", simply titled "Shiver", due to the original working title being "Timber Me Shivers".


Professional ratings
Aggregate scores
Review scores
AllMusic3.5/5 stars[19]
Consequence of SoundC-[20]
The Music Cycle3.5/5 stars link
Rolling Stone3.5/5 stars[21]

The reception for the album has been generally positive. Metacritic, which assigns a normalized rating out of 100, currently gives it a score of 76/100 based on twenty-two critics' reviews.[2] Alternative Press stated that the record was "an alarmingly good album."[22] Jon Pareles of The New York Times added that "the new album is more abrasive, rowdier, more unstable and pushier in the right ways," going on to say that when the album is "[p]layed quietly, like a Beatles ballad, it's brave enough to set bravado aside."[23] Jody Rosen of Rolling Stone said of lead singer Matt Shultz: "Shultz coos, 'All I got is nothing but a little bit of love.' He's got another thing, actually: one of rock's best young bands."[24]


Matt Shultz would later look back on the album five years after the release of "Shake Me Down", in an interview with Alternative Nation. He said, "There are definitely some times where I look back and wish I had let more of myself into the album. Earlier in my life, I had so much stock in the persona, and believed too much in 'the character' in the realm of pop and rock music, whatever pedal you want to put on it. The modern… whatever. It’s part of the story, and it is what it was."[25]


  1. ^ "Thank You Happy Birthday". December 2010.
  2. ^ a b c "'Thank You, Happy Birthday' on Metacritic". Metacritic. Retrieved December 9, 2018.
  3. ^ "Cage the Elephant will Release Computer Says Move". February 2010.
  4. ^ "Cage the Elephant threw out 80 songs for new album". May 2011. Archived from the original on 2012-03-31.
  5. ^ "Cage The Elephant Release Thank You Happy Birthday". January 2011.
  6. ^ "Cage the Elephant Bio". December 2010.
  7. ^ "Cage the Elephant's Brad Shultz". March 2011.
  8. ^ "Shake Me Down music video". MTV. January 2011.
  9. ^ Shake Me Down--Cage the Elephant, Billboard, January 2011
  10. ^ "Cage the Elephant named MTV PUSH Artist of the week". MTV. January 2011.
  11. ^ Cage the Elephant--Around My Head, Blog Lyrics, May 4, 2011, archived from the original on May 6, 2011, retrieved July 7, 2011
  12. ^ Cage the Elephant, Billboard, July 2011
  13. ^ "Cage the Elephant, 'Aberdeen' – Song Review". 26 August 2011.
  14. ^ "Cage the Elephant celebrate "Happy Birthday" on Letterman". Tennessean blogs. January 2011.
  15. ^ "Cake Scores Lowest-Selling No. 1 Album in SoundScan History". 19 January 2011.
  16. ^ "Cage the Elephant hits 'Jimmy Kimmel Live!'". The Tennessean. January 2011.
  17. ^ "Cage the Elephant-Shake Me Down". Fuel TV. February 2011.
  18. ^ "Cage The Elephant: Thank You Happy Birthday(2011): CD". February 2011.
  19. ^ Jeffries, David. Thank You, Happy Birthday at AllMusic. Retrieved 2011-06-25.
  20. ^ Young, Alex (January 12, 2011). "Cage The Elephant – Thank You Happy Birthday". Consequence of Sound. Retrieved May 21, 2015.
  21. ^ Rosen, Jody. "Thank You Happy Birthday". Rolling Stone. Retrieved 22 July 2011.
  22. ^ "Alternative Press review for Thank You Happy Birthday". Alternative Press. January 2011.
  23. ^ "New CDs". New York Times. January 2011.
  24. ^ "Thank You Happy Birthday review". Rolling Stone. January 2011.
  25. ^ "Interview: Cage The Elephant Singer Talks Black Keys Comparisons On Mess Around". Alternative Nation. November 2015. Archived from the original on 2015-11-25.