Music Reviews

Eli Young – Fingerprints

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The Eli Young Band has been together for 17 years and has achieved Platinum and Multi-Platinum status with their #1 hits “Drunk Last Night,” “Even If It Breaks Your Heart” and “Crazy Girl.” The Texas based-band returned to the formula and sound that they have had so much success with on their new album, Fingerprints. The album not only will make their fans happy with a sound that that is so familiar from the band, but the members also add their personal touch to the songwriting on eight of the eleven tracks on the album.

The first song on the album, “Saltwater Gospel,” gives listeners a taste of what the album offers. The song blends Mike Eli’s warm vocals alongside some great percussion and harmonies, while the song tells the story of how the water feels like a spiritual experience. The title track, “Fingerprints,” is a little edgier anthem that will definitely be a live show highlight. Eli’s vocals again take the lead with a chorus that will have fans singing along.

“Never Again” was one that the band did not have a hand in writing, but with it’s smooth and catchy style it was easy to see why the band added it to the album. The song written by Ryan Hurd, Jimmy Robbins and Laura Veltz has the right hook to make it easy to listen to over and over.

“Old Songs,” is reminiscent of some earlier EYB songs. With the backing vocals from Carolyn Dawn Johnson and a beautifully placed harmonica accompaniment the song talks about how a song can take you back to a memory with just a listen. Johnson also lends her vocals to the ballad  “God Love the Rain,” which was written by Eli, Erik Dylan and Jason Nix. Again Eli’s vocal are so smooth on a song that speaks of a rainy August night.

“Drive” has a drum beat that could be infectious and a story line that speaks of something that is familiar to everyone with the lyrics “Nothin’ makes us feel like sweet sixteen/Like hands on the wheel of that time machine.”

One of the songs that jumps out at you at first listen and just seems to want to touch the heart is “Skin and Bones.” The song written by Eli, Phil Barton and Lori McKenna is a reflective one for EYB’s front man about his love and relationship with his wife. The song is already often played on SiriusXM’s The Highway.

Eli stated that he felt so good while writing the songs on Fingerprints and knew that they had something that would be special to people. “Walking into the writing room with Phil Barton and Lori McKenna was such a treat,” he explains. “I felt in my gut we were gonna walk out of that room with a special song, and it turns out we did. My wife and I have been together for a lot of years now, and there comes a point where so much of who you are is intertwined and connected. You sometimes lose that line of where they end and you begin.”

With the song “The Days I Feel Alone” Eli sings about what it’s like to be on the road to make his living and away from his family. The feeling is one that many road warrior musicians and fans will relate to with the lyrics “If burning roads at both ends is what I gotta do/I know it’s worth the leavin’ to give the world to you/So I carry on, on the days I feel alone.”

The collection of songs on Fingerprints will easily be a favorite of EYB fans as they stay true to the core sound of the band with lyrics and stories that are easy for anyone to relate with. For the album EYB worked with long-time producers Ross Copperman and Jeremy Stover, as well as co-producing each track themselves.  Mike Eli, James Young, Jon Jones and Chris Thompson have had huge milestones in their careers in the past with their music and their new album should easily build on that success.

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