Thank You, Happy Birthday - Cage the Elephant

Generally favorable reviews - based on 22 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 18 out of 22
  2. Negative: 0 out of 22
  1. May 2, 2011
    Matt Shultz makes a natural showman firmly in the mouth Perry Farrell mould. Front of house taken care of, it's then just a matter of pairing the noise and excitement, something they achieve in short, sharp bursts with room to spare. [Apr 2011, p.98]
  2. Mar 29, 2011
    Taking cues from the Pixies and '90s grunge--Sell Yourself or Japanese Buffalo could be Pixies mainman Black Francis in a rage--but rowdier and caustic, they are compelling. [19 Mar 2011, p.51]
  3. Mar 29, 2011
    They've sorted through a kitbag of 80 songs and made good on the potential. [Apr 2011, p.77]
  4. Mar 21, 2011
    Front-loaded with jagged riffs and the squalls of Matt Shultz, this is storming.
  5. 80
    The Kentucky combo Cage the Elephant manage to find a new wrinkle on the face of US indie-punk, thanks to an enthusiasm for yoking catchy melodies to abrasive guitar riffs that recalls the Pixies.
  6. Mar 17, 2011
    Casting UK indie influences aside, the Kentucky five-piece has sought out the best in US punk and proto-grunge, layering exhilarating darkness and sinister sweetness, and some of the catchiest melodies you'll hear all year.
  7. Jan 11, 2011
    It's an alarmingly great album in most ways superior to their ballyhooed debut. [Feb 2011, p.86]
  8. Jan 10, 2011
    The new album is more abrasive, rowdier, more unstable and pushier in the right ways.
  9. Jan 11, 2011
    In truth, Thank You Happy Birthday is at its best when the band doesn't beat us over the head with its angst and instead focuses on simply making music that sounds good.
  10. Jan 11, 2011
    They run like rabbits from the stultifying bottom end of grunge, instead honoring what was hot and sweet about '90s rock: the raucousness of its hooks and the accessibility of its noise.
  11. 75
    Charismatic lead shrieker Matt Shultz wears his slacker influences proudly.
  12. 70
    Basically, the album's a mess of melody, noise, stupidity, screaming and big choruses that does its bit for the all-important Campaign Against Intellectualism In Rock. Fun.
  13. Mar 21, 2011
    This, their second has already topped the charts over in the US. Why? Well, it's exuberant, bratty and crushingly been so fun.
  14. Mar 18, 2011
    They don't offer much that's new, but this album is far too enjoyable to squabble over that.
  15. Mar 11, 2011
    Throughout, CTE prove that they are an alternative act that's not scared of offending mainstream sensibilities. Time to break their locks.
  16. Jan 11, 2011
    While the grand and sometimes snotty lyrics might not be to all tastes, anyone who misses the days when rock radio loved Nirvana and Blur will find his retro rave-up easy to embrace.
  17. Jan 11, 2011
    Cage the Elephant treat their guitars like percussion instruments, filling the songs with all kinds of clanging, crashing and thudding, and augmenting the clamor with buzzing keyboards.
  18. Jan 6, 2011
    Sounds terrible, yet these guys attack tracks like "Sell Yourself" with so much pent-up energy that Shultz ends up selling his crackpot ideas.
  19. Feb 25, 2011
    As the hungover economy slowly gets out of bed and scratches itself, that's just what we need: one big melting pot of a party.
  20. Jan 26, 2011
    Is this record the cure to the ails that is the sophomore LP? Yes and no. Yes, it's new and fresh and spilling over with more of their unique brand of high-energy rock; no, as there's some missteps and growth is often traded out for immature jabs.
  21. 60
    Though some of these songs would work well on their own, as a full length, they lack fluidity, consistency, and an overall theme that usually binds songs together.
  22. 60
    It all seems more diverse than it actually sounds, and true, the band borrows plenty, including some room to play around with the sound, but Thank You Happy Birthday transcends its genres, and would be better simply labeled as a solid second step.
User Score

Generally favorable reviews- based on 40 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 13 out of 14
  2. Negative: 0 out of 14
  1. Mar 12, 2011
    The best way to describe this album is as 'sonic seizures.' The chaotic style that has become CTE's trademark fills this album. There is no lack of personality. At times it can be a little hard to listen to, but more times than not, it's filled with energetic punk-blues. Full Review »
  2. Jan 14, 2011
    Une albulm vraiment l'fun à écouté, le Cage The Elephant style à son meilleur. C'est exactement ce à quoi on veux s'attendre quand on écoute un nouveau disque. Le tout est divertissant et diversifié. C'est simplement excellent. Thank You Happy Birthday est la pour comblé tout coeur. Full Review »
  3. Feb 9, 2014
    Thank You, Happy Birthday has it's moments but at times it's simply too harsh. Some songs are so intense that they're hard to listen to but those moments are few and far between and overall it is a pretty solid album, but it certainly is not for everyone. Full Review »