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Life At Best

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iTunes Review

Following up their breakthrough album Jet Black & Jealous, Eli Young Band keep the emphasis on jangling guitar riffs and folk-rocking melodies, reaching back to the heyday of Petty and Mellencamp rather than Nashville-style country for inspiration. Lead singer Mike Eli possesses an aching Everyman sort of vocal that makes his odes to love, fidelity and fulfillment sound credible. Life At Best’s opening and closing tracks — “Even If It Breaks Your Heart” and the title tune — capture a sense of idealism that frames the album as a whole. Love songs like “Crazy Girl” and “Every Other Memory” carry a bittersweet edge, while “Skeletons” looks back on past mistakes with a tinge of regret. A festive tropical rhythm (accented with keening pedal steel guitar) gives “On My Way” an uplifting tone. Among the more countrified moments is “My Old Man’s Son,” a salute to family heritage driven by acoustic guitar and brushed drums. Life At Best avoids sonic frills or faddish concessions — this is honest American heartland music, rooted in reality while refusing to surrender to despair.

Customer Reviews

Old > new

The old stuff is much better, stay true to your roots Mike, this stuff isn't the Texas Country that got you where you are, if it ain't broke don't fix it... It wasn't broke...

Crazy Girl

Best song on the CD

From Texas to the World

I've been following EYB for years and I have every CD, every "special" single release, EVERYTHING. This band is solid and this album is their best by far. I love the earnestness and catchiness of this record as much as anything I've purchased lately. "Skeletons" is incredible and sounds like it could be a Gary Allan song. "War On A Desperate Man" is a completely honest look at what I assume is alcoholism or perhaps an end-life disease. ""I Love You" is plain in it's idea, but comes across as a complex and beautiful and poetic. "Crazy Girl" speaks for itself as a possible Song Of The Year contender.

This CD is excellent and beyond compare. I love the Texas music, but this transcends that scene while still remaining true to that scene. If people get on here and review this record as a sell out, they have not listened. Face it, EYB is not anyone's great little secret anymore, they are an incredible band poised for superstardom. This record is an outstanding example of making the jump from regional to national, while retaining integrity.


Formed: 2000 in Denton, TX

Genre: Country

Years Active: '00s, '10s

Fusing a young man's take on heartland rock with the tougher side of Texas country music and the cocky enthusiasm of alt-country firebrands, the Eli Young Band have become a potent draw in the Southwest on the strength of local airplay and extensive touring. The Eli Young Band's story began when Mike Eli and James Young both enrolled at the University of North Texas and found themselves sharing a dorm room as freshmen. Both played guitar, and the two new friends started writing and singing songs...
Full Bio
Life At Best, Eli Young Band
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Customer Ratings