Cage the Elephant - Social Cues
Critic Score
Based on 24 reviews
2019 Ratings: #587 / 737
User Score
Based on 513 ratings
2019 Ratings: #1086
Liked by 7 people
April 19, 2019 / Release Date
LP / Format
RCA / Label
Indie Rock / Genres
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Social Cues spans 13 tracks laden with honey-sweet vocals and warm synths played over darker, seductive undertones, resulting in their most sophisticated and captivating offering yet.

Under The Radar

Cage The Elephant have proven to be one of the most reliable and entertaining rock bands around and Social Cues has plenty of spectacular music to make it a 2019 Top 10 contender.

The Independent

Social Cues is an album where Shultz bares his soul, and apparently shakes off a few demons in the process.


Having spent their glittering career dancing through different sounds, Cage The Elephant truly find themselves on this mature, widescreen fifth album.

Rolling Stone

Social Cues is full-on American gothic.


Social Cues is Cage The Elephant’s darkest and most personal album yet.


The overall sensation is a unity of differences, a cohesive work in terms of style. This smooth result does not enchant but neither misses the point, allowing variety and musical contamination in the alternative realm.


Social Cues is easily one of Cage the Elephant's best efforts. Aside from a few uninspiring entries, every inclusion offers something valuable, be it fetchingly catchy radiance or notably moving self-reflection.


CTE wind up dampening the squalls of White Stripes, Strokes, and Pixies that defined their first decade of records, but that change also emphasizes how the group are at heart pop-pastiche artists, favoring style and sound over a finely honed song.


Social Cues not an overly adventurous record, but it's the sound of a band who know their niche in contemporary alternative rock and how to deliver every time.

American Songwriter

Social Cues shows the group maturing musically without losing its grip on their ability to craft haunting, accessible tunes ready for the larger venues they have rightfully graduated to.

God Is in the TV

Despite the shambolic chaos that the album connotes, I can happily applaud Matt for the musical genius that he is. I don’t think Shultz is actually aware of what he writes, but he knows how to make it emotionally relatable. And that’s what keeps people listening.

Consequence of Sound

Cage the Elephant have offered a batch of all too generic radio-friendly singles. It would have been fascinating to see the band take a drastic turn and lean into experimentation, but instead they’ve returned with a relatively underwhelming fifth album.


If Social Cues isn’t a bad album by any stretch; it’s nonetheless, in the band’s discography, surprisingly generic.

While not breaking remarkable new ground, Cage the Elephant are nonetheless more adept than most at shapeshifting through the confines of a modern guitar band. This latest take is business as usual in terms of quality while showing off some new tricks.
The Skinny

Cage the Elephant’s Social Cues shows that the band can still reach for new sounds while continuing to thump out radio-friendly hits set to the same kick drum Jared Champion’s been hitting for more than ten years.

No Ripcord

Though Cues features some of their most accomplished songs yet, their eagerness to please both sides make for a sometimes coldly calculating listen.

Spill Magazine

Social Cues isn’t the best Cage the Elephant album by a long shot but it’s another testament to their staying power. A few of these songs will probably get some radio play and I’ll be happier for it. Even if it’s “Night Running.”

The Needle Drop

The songwriting on Social Cues is far too tame to live up to the album's dark backstory.

The Line of Best Fit

The underlying grit and melodies that, while not always appeasing the critics, certainly won Cage The Elephant an array of fans are largely absent, replaced by a series of flat and often unforgettable tracks.


‘Social Cues’ is a study in US radio - or so it seems, each song a suitable soundtrack to faceless car journeys along nondescript roads: think Imagine Dragons in leather jackets and ripped jeans, if you will.

This is so boring oh my god. This is barely passable as background noise.
I don't understand how this has the lowest rating of any Cage the Elephant record.

I can't tell if it's ironic or fitting that Social Cues has a problem with commitment. When I heard that this record was inspired by the past few years of Matt Schultz's life, which have been a dark time considering his divorce among other things, I was sympathetic and excited. Ready to Let Go was a musically safe but lyrically compelling single, but House of Glass utterly blew my mind with how bleak and ... read more
It's pretty good when it's on, but as soon as you turn it off, I don't think I can recall a single song, which is a shame, because these guys wrote some of the best shout-the-lyrics anthems when I was in high school.
Pleasantly surprised by how well this album sounded after it was all said and done. The singles didnt have me too enthralled, but I must say that this is yet another fantastic little indie rock record from a band that has helped define that genre for over a decade. Its always impressive to me to see a band (like multiple creative influences working together) still going strong and making solid music after 10 years. Really thrilled to see that these guys are in that semi-rare category of artists ... read more
Despite popular opinion, I personally enjoy this record quite a lot. It may simply be because this was one of the first records I was excited for to come out, as Cage The Elephant was one of the first artists that I really got into. However, I do believe that this is a very solid indie/alternative rock album. Sure, it's nothing extremely interesting or experimental, but you can't deny that most of these instrumentals are fantastic.

The production of this record is definitely a high point, as ... read more
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Year End Lists

#28/The Independent

Track List

  1. Broken Boy
  2. Social Cues
  3. Black Madonna
  4. Night Running
  5. Skin and Bones
  6. Ready to Let Go
  7. House of Glass
  8. Love's the Only Way
  9. The War Is Over
  10. Dance Dance
  11. What I'm Becoming
  12. Tokyo Smoke
  13. Goodbye
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Added on: January 31, 2019