Cage the Elephant - Social Cues
Critic Score
Based on 19 reviews
2019 Ratings: #218 / 267
User Score
Based on 241 ratings
2019 Ratings: #332
April 19, 2019 / Release Date
LP / Format
RCA / Label
Indie Rock / Genres
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CRITIC REVIEWS

80
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.

80
The Independent

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

80
NME

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

80
Rolling Stone

Social Cues is full-on American gothic.

70
PopMatters

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.

70
AllMusic

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.

70
Exclaim!

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.

70
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.

70
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.

67
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.

67
Paste

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

60
Dork
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.
60
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.

50
The Needle Drop

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

45
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.

40
DIY

‘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.

exception
72
This is actually a surprisingly great album. Don't let it fly under your radar.
PatrickL0419
68
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.
BradTasteMusic
37
This is so boring oh my god. This is barely passable as background noise.
ElectricMess
70
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
thomasny18
35
From "there ain't no rest for the wicked" to "we aren't even trying to keep you awake."
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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