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“Video Review: Cage the Elephant Performing ‘Ready to Let Go’ on ‘Colbert’”

Score: ****/*****

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Boy, does Matt Shultz get right into it when he’s out there doing his thing: he’s decked out in this all-black, denim looking outfit with this big, black cowboy hat on, his short, wiry little frame traipsing about the stage with an oddly taut sense of purpose. The delivery is measured, languid, though: this is a front man who sounds at home within his band’s performance, a band which surprisingly enough for lots of people including me includes his brother Brad on rhythm guitar.

Another surprising thing I just learned about these guys is that although they were born and grew up in Kentucky, they relocated as an overall act to London. Perhaps that explains how the angle they’re coming from for this new material seems to be borne out of a musically pure, yet pretty original sort of state: although their front man is charismatic and extroverted by nature, they still don’t present something overly “goofy” in the sense of wanting to parody themselves. The song itself is funky, which seems almost like a requirement for mainstream rock these days, and moves along with a methodic “cool” which seems like more of an artistic confidence than an aloofness or haughtiness, like a Jack White who finally got rid of his “blues.” Plus, there’s this indescribably snazzy snare sound (I think that’s a snare, anyway), that keeps pelting in every two beats on this lounger and giving the tune this textural flair, which of course radio rock desperately needs these days. It seems Cage’s path to success has been curvier than a lot of people assumed, so sit back and enjoy the fruits of their labor which is this new anthem of uncertainty, catchy with a dark noir.

 

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