Tell Me I’m Pretty might go down in history as that Cage the Elephant record produced by “that dude from the Black Keys”. Dan Auerbach brings a different sort of production vibe to this Cage the Elephant record, one that suits them really well: it sounds like Black Keys meeting the Beatles in a pub somewhere and agreeing that an on-stage jam session might be a good way to make the party more interesting.
What follows is a lesson in respecting the greats: offering tributes with subtle tonalities instead of full-out cover songs. The overtones are all there, and the band is still having a lot of fun, but Dan gives it just enough weight that it doesn’t feel like just a collection of singles.
In that way, the record feels like a celebration of the album as a timepiece of culture — very fitting for a band known for their bouncy and jangly records and a producer known for reviving the blues and seventies psychedelic rock. While I’m not sure that Tell Me I’m Pretty will ultimately go down as a classic among the stars, it might be Cage the Elephant’s best record.