The Eli Young Band recently released their new single "Drunk Last Night" to country radio. EYB really broke through with their last album Life At Best, spawning three hit singles, and the biggest song on the radio in 2012, "Even If It Breaks Your Heart". They have some big expectations now. After the level of success they have already had, now is the time to see if they will continue to be a major force, or if their star will flicker out.
If "Drunk Last Night" is any indication, The Eli Young Band looks like they are hitting their stride and will be major players on the radio. This single is a solid first effort from their upcoming album. "Drunk Last Night" may sound like its going to be another mindless party song by the title, but don't let that fool you. Much like Lee Brice's "I Drive Your Truck", "Drunk Last Night" is a very well written song hiding behind a very generic title.
Sad songs are seldom heard anymore, but a few of our radio compadres have been making an effort to get them back in style. "Drunk Last Night" tells the story of a man who continues to call and pour his heart out to his former lover over and over. He lists various excuses and reasons, including the title of the song. It isn't rocket surgery, but it has emotion and meaning, two things missing in a lot of the songs on the radio. There isn't a guy out there who hasn't felt this song at one time or another. That's what country music is all about. Lines like "it's off my chest, but never off my mind" really stand out to me.
This song has a very catchy melody that will hook you right in. It is built more like a pop or rock song with the timing and structure, but it never gets too loud or obnoxious. The guitars have just enough twang to make it certainly country, but polished enough to fit in on the radio. It sits right between up and down tempo, creating a nice mood of regret, but not total sadness. Mike Eli sounds a lot like Jason Aldean on this song, which isn't a bad thing. Aldean can sing when he wants to, and this sounds like a good Aldean song. Once you get this melody in your head, you will be singing it all day.
Country radio has gone a long way from its roots. Some of that is evolution of the sound, some is just downright changing the genre to be more accessible to everyone. The evolution is ok, the changing is where I have a problem. I have a tough time explaining the difference between the two to the casual country listener. "Drunk Last Night" is an example of the evolution. It sounds nothing like Jones, Waylon, or Cash. It does, however, sound like country music in 2013.
"Drunk Last Night"