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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.[2] Vocalist Matt Schultz 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.[3] Two other songs, "Trouble" and "Too Late to Say Goodbye," were made available for download before the album's release.


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.[4]


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.[5]

Critical reception

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 74/100, based on 13 reviews.[6] 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."[1]

Track listing

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.[7]

Cage the Elephant
  • Matt Shultz − vocals, acoustic guitar
  • Brad Shultz − guitar
  • Daniel Tichenor − bass
  • Jared Champion − drums
Additional musicians
  • Dan Auerbach − guitar, keyboards, backing vocals
  • Nick Bockrath − guitar, backing vocals
  • Rick Marty - guitar, keyboards, 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 Lacey - mastering
  • Richard Madenfort - assistant production
  • 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)[8] 30
US Billboard 200[9] 26