Review Roundup: April 24

Thursday, April 25th, 2019 at 12:02 AM
Review Roundup: April 24 by Caylie Ratkiewicz & Erica Burkholder

"Social Cues" - Cage the Elephant

This past Friday, alt-rock band Cage the Elephant released a powerful album — an experience which hits on multiple different hardships. “Social Cues” is the band’s fifth studio album and features 13 tracks.

The opener, “Broken Boy,” starts out with a low quality intro and merges into an upbeat surf tune. Although the lyrics are pretty repetitive, the song takes the listener through childhood trauma and the lack of motivation.

Like most of the songs, “The War is Over” talks about the frontman’s recent divorce. Listening to the track, you can definitely feel the pain and agony of the split. Matt Shultz sings, “What’s the point in living, when living feels like dying?”

“Skin and Bones,” the fifth track, screams Arctic Monkeys. Specifically, it reminds me of “Why’d You Only Call Me When You’re High” by the

English rock band, because of how similar the lead vocals are. The song has a synthetic guitar back that helps create a hypnotic rock vibe. It even has an edgy kick that the Arctic Monkeys practically created.

Lyrically, “House of Glass” is the best song on the album. The track is upbeat with a constant and interesting guitar riff. Feeling useless, Cage the Elephant wrote this track to show how fragile life can be. The lyrics are meaningful and clearly thought through, using metaphors to get the point across. To quote the song: “The house is glass. It’s an illusion, this admiration.”

The band ends their album with the 13th track, “Goodbye.” With such a fitting title, the song is slow and sports a melodramatic backing to the upsetting lyrics. Obviously in pain, the singer feels disappointment in the fact that things aren’t working out.

Overall, “Social Cues” by Cage the Elephant describes a difficult divorce and the lack of motivation. The Kentucky-based band came back with a powerful, alternative album that many listeners can connect and relate to.

Standout tracks: “House of Glass” and “Skin and Bones.”

Caylie Ratkiewicz |



"Cuz I Love You" - Lizzo

Lizzo, real name Melissa Vivienne Jefferson, is a 30-year-old singer-songwriter. She has been a founding member of five different indie hip-hop girl groups and her debut album, “Lizzobangers,” came out in 2013. Her newest is the highly anticipated “Cuz I Love You.”

The album opens with the title track — a mixture of Adele and burlesque. The song starts with the lines, “I’m crying because I love you,” sung with powerful, burlesque-like vocals, while the music then comes in. The music is, at times, driven by slower, powerful keys, fitting the writing perfectly. The faster part of the song seems out of place with the content that’s behind it.

“Like A Girl,” the second song, is a girl-power anthem. “Woke up feeling like a girl/ Even if there ain’t no precedent, switching up the messages/I’m about to add a little estrogen,” opens up the song and the girl power just grows from there. The song continues with Lizzo talking about how she provides for herself and how she does everything “like a girl.” The music picks up during the chorus and the “like a girl” that’s sung after the main lyrics makes it hard not to dance.

Lizzo slows down her sound with songs like “Jerome” and “Cuz I Love You,” but typically it’s a mixture of pop, hip-hop and soul, with a dash of electro-like instrumentals. “Juice,” a bop that’s more suited to dancing than most of the songs on the album, has a very Bruno Mars-like approach. The thought that Mars’ vocals could easily blend into the song occurs more than once while listening.

It’s hard to determine if Lizzo’s sound has changed with this album, as all her songs have their own unique vibe that fits within a broader category. Comparing her latest album to her first, she puts forth a broader range of vocals now, and the instrumentals are not as loud as they once were.

Lizzo may sing pump-up songs used to build your confidence, but she keeps her personality in the tracks. Her humor peeks through with an outro of curse words that ends “Like A Girl,” and it acts as a reminder that while Lizzo comes off as extremely confident in most of her songs, she’s still a regular person.

Standout tracks: “Like A Girl” and “Cuz I Love You”

Erica Burkholder |

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