Cage The Elephant 'Neon Pill' review: Channeling their inner sound

After a five-year hiatus, Cage The Elephant returns with their sixth studio album, 'Neon Pill.' The album follows a tumultuous five years where the band saw many ups and downs.
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Setting the tone for a tour that will span across the United States over the course of three months, Cage The Elephant returns from a five-year departure with Neon Pill

The alternative/indie band got its start in 2008 with its debut album, the self-titled Cage The Elephant.  The group quickly exploded onto the scene with the track “Ain’t No Rest For The Wicked,” which has since gone platinum 6 times in the U.S.

Coming off the heels of their Grammy-winning album, Social Cues, the group has had some ups and downs over the last five years. However, that rollercoaster did not stop the group from coming together and releasing an album full of highs.

Neon Pill finds the group blocking out all noise and creating their own sound of self-expression

Putting their sixth studio into context is very difficult, but it is important. Between the time of Social Cues and Neon Pill, frontman and lead singer, Matt Schultz went through an arrest, various manic episodes, and a divorce. Both Schultz and his brother Brad, the rhythm guitarist and keyboardist for the band, lost their father in 2020. Needless to say, the band has gone through a lot in five years.

However, in the creation of Neon Pill, the band put on the blinders and blocked out all distractions and influences

The album opens up with “HiFi (True Light)”. On it, Matt Schultz he is “like a tidal wave, an open book.” That line shows the listener the type of album they are getting themselves into, an open book. 

The lead single for the album, the title track, “Neon Pill,” was released back in January. Sitting in the third slot on the album, it slots perfectly between “Rainbow” and “Float Into The Sky.” 

The first five tracks on the album are all upbeat and flow perfectly. It further proves just how conjoined Neon Pill is, there is no outlier. There is no sore spot. 

Finally, six tracks in, the first moment of self-reflection and deep thoughts hits. “Out Loud” finds Matt Schultz talking about leaving his hometown to chase his dreams, potentially in reference to the fact Cage The Elephant left Kentucky in 2008 to move to the United Kingdom. However, like many who fly thousands of miles away from home, there is a feeling of regret. 

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On the following track, “Ball and Chain,” we see the funk side of Cage the Elephant emerge. Between that and “Shy Eyes,” Cage the Elephant shows their ability to craft many different sounds, while still fitting it all into the very same album.

The album ends with “Over Your Shoulder.” The track opens up very slowly and ballad-like. With a single guitar strum and drum taps, Matt Schultz is left singing about how quickly life moves on. In each verse, Schultz tells the audience how life will move on without you. But, as he states, “every season will pass.” And in moments of sadness and feelings of being down, there is a light at the end of the tunnel.

Over the span of 12 tracks and 39 minutes, Cage the Elephant proves they are here, they are not going anywhere and there is nothing getting in their way.

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