Cage the Elephant has been releasing music since 2007, and over the course of six albums, they have dabbled in different sounds and genres, but they always remained unwaveringly themselves. This quality stays constant in Social Cues, but the album was too predictable for their listeners.

The band members of Cage the Elephant are my kings of alternative rock. They have asserted their dominance over the course of many years and still remain relevant — even 10 years after their first album. Social Cues included the two main things I love about Cage the Elephant: genius, catchy lyrics and head-bobbing guitar melodies.

However, a major problem with the album was that the songs were too similar to each other. During my first listen of the album, the transition from the song “Broken Boy” to “Social Cues” was a little too seamless — I couldn’t tell where one track ended and the other began. Cage the Elephant has their own sound, but more variety in the album would have made it stronger.

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Social Cues is full of goodbyes and broken hearts. Lead singer Matt Shultz and his wife divorced in 2018, and a good chunk of the album chronicles this divorce. “Ready To Let Go” has haunting lyrics about Shultz realizing he needed a divorce. “Don’t you worry, baby, no sense trying to change it/ I’ma strike these matches, never had control/ I’m ready to let go, no, was I fooling myself?”

More of this comes in “Goodbye,” the last track on the album. It’s a beautiful song, again touching on his divorce, but I wasn’t blown away by it — or the rest of the album.

“Black Madonna” discusses success and how it comes with fakeness and emptiness. “Climb so high, tell me how to feel/ Call me when you’re ready to be real.” Creative and memorable lyrics have detailed all of their albums, especially Social Cues.

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The 13-track album kept the band’s classic lo-fi sound, something I’ve always loved about Cage the Elephant. Their music is made up of the imperfections in recording and grungy angst, but they definitely played it safe on Social Cues. They needed more experimental songs, something to move the band out of their comfort zone.

I still listen to old songs from Melophobia and Thank You Happy Birthday. I’m not sure I will want to listen to Social Cues years from now — but I do know that the band could have produced more stand-out songs.

Even though the album has predictable songs, they aren’t necessarily bad. “Ready To Let Go” and “Skin and Bones,” among others, are groovy songs. Of course, not every song has to knock your socks off, but the album needed more quality. Cage the Elephant will have to move out of their comfort zone in their next album to keep their place as my kings of alternative rock.