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Eli Young Band

This is Eli Young Band - Greatest Hits – 2019 (Valory)

Reviewed by Bill Caruthers

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The Eli Young Band has reached a career milestone of sorts with the release of their "This is Eli Young Band: Greatest Hits" album. EYB has an impressive portfolio of music to date, with music spanning from the band's genesis with Mike Eli and James Young joining forces as Eli & Young while students at the University of North Texas. Rounding out the band with members Jon Jones and Chris Thompson, ELB was born and released its first album "Level" in 2005. Five studio albums, two EPs and 14 years later comes this volume.

Calling this record "Greatest Hits" is something of a misnomer, since the band has had 14 charting singles to date, with some notably missing, while two new songs and a bonus acoustic version of "Crazy Girl" are included among the 14 offerings here. Perhaps "The Essential" or "Best Of" might be more appropriate. Along with their award-winning number one hit "Even If It Breaks Your Heart" and other number ones ("Crazy Girl" and "Drunk Last Night") come fan favorites such as "Always The Love Songs," "Dust", "When it Rains," "Stillwater Gospel" and "Guinevere." Notably missing from the set are "Say Good Night" and "Radio Waves" that actually charted a bit higher than some of those included.

The big news is the single "Love Ain't" and the other new offering, "Where Were You." These are solid Nashville country songs, sending the EYB back into chart territory that they have been missing recently. Written by Nashville super writers Ross Copperman, Ashley Gorley, and current writer of the year, Shane McAnnally, "Love Ain't" is a real-life inspired tale of sacrifice and an homage to those among us who may not who love is, but can definitively identify what it isn't. If you like EYB, you will love this album and if unfamiliar, this provides a primer on the band's evolution from college town bar band to today.