This is the review for "Jet Black And Jealous" to read our "Life At Best" review, click here.
Through the years Texas has provided country music with many bands and artists yet for as many artists as they give the national scene, Texas has kept as many as four to five times more to themselves. Many of these artists are content with their regional success and tour the southwest while others, like the Eli Young Band, want to break through on the national level to showcase their talent on a national scale. With their third studio album, “Jet Black & Jealous,” the Eli Young Band has done just that.
Now signed to Universal Records South/Universal Republic Records, the quartet of vocalist/guitarist Mike Eli, lead guitarist James Young , bassist Jon Jones and drummer Chris Thompson, have come out with a record that should help them in their quest . Lead single “When It Rains” was on the 2nd EYB album “Level” and the song, written solely by Young, became a Top 40 hit without major label support. “Always The Love Songs” is the second single from the album and by the time it peaked on the charts, the tale of young love (and written by David Lee Murphy and George Ducas) found its way to the Top 10 of country radio, despite having a guitar-lead melody that recalls The Wallflowers’ hit “6th Avenue Heartache.”
“Radio Waves” is another song that uses the radio/love metaphor only this time instead of looking nostalgically back upon the young love, Mike Eli sings, over a country-rock melody, about using the “radio waves” to ‘sing out’ to the girl that stole his heart. Keith Gattis’ “Famous” is a song that finds the Eli Young Band singing about a guy who wishes he wasn’t the face in the crowd to the girl of his dreams. The melody recalls Tom Petty so much that it’s hard not to hear him singing these lyrics or the Heart-breakers playing the slide guitar melody.
“Guinevere” is an interesting song that tells the story of a girl who was hurt so much that she never allows anyone else even get close to her thus she’s doomed to have a life of un-fulfilling one night stands. It’s the kind of ballad that country music is known for and it suits Mike Eli’s voice quite well. “Throw And Go” is a fun, throw caution to the wind kind of song while “Get In The Car And Drive” is a road song of a different nature (returning or driving to the one you love). “Mystery In The Making” might have an air of Chesney to the song but it’s not of the beach-y variety. Instead, the song finds Eli Young Band describing how love can change life all for the better and it is one of life’s greatest mysteries as to how it happens.
With “Jet Black & Jealous” the Eli Young Band presents themselves as one of the best newcomers to mainstream country music. With the steady production hands of Mike Wrucke (Miranda Lambert), the album manages to retain the roots rock vibe of Texas country with the more mainstream sound of contemporary country music.