Album Review: Unpeeled by Cage the Elephant

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Gather around, my new age hippies and garage rocker fans. Cage the Elephant has unleashed a new album that is unlike any other. “Unpeeled,” the band’s fifth album, was released in July by RCA Records. It is a perfect collaboration of old and new, as all of the tracks were recorded live and include percussion and a full string quartet. This rad album carries twenty-one tracks, with eighteen of them being curated songs from their previous albums. This live collection was recorded over a series of intimate shows played across the United States. From glamorous LA to rowdy Nashville and DC, these live tracks prove to be both inspirational and soothing. Contrary to what many may think, the live audience in no way disturbs the integrity of the piece, instead adding a nice aesthetic to the overall sound.

So what makes this album so good, you ask? Well, my fellow music lovers, this remastered blast from the past not only shows the vulnerability of lead singer, Matt Shultz, in his original songs, but it raises the stakes higher as the band has chosen to incorporate strings, an uncommon feat for a rock band. Shultz commented on their newest album in an interview with Billboard.com. “We’re going to push ourselves in as many directions as we possibly can. At this stage in your life, [what you do] becomes a testimony to the greater picture,” Shultz said. Cage the Elephant’s music translates beautifully into an acoustic setting, and the implementation of string instruments truly adds a whole new level of depth to the pieces.

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