Eli Young Band

Turn It On – 2015 (Republic Nashville)

Reviewed by Bill Caruthers

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CDs by Eli Young Band

With the release of "Turn It On," the Eli Young Band brings new music about girls, love, and...disco.

Singer Mike Eli, who co-wrote all four songs, is in fine voice, solidifying the EYB sound. The title cut, written with co-founder James Young, with its strong beat and up-front vocals, is tailor-made for listening while driving fast. With its "driving" beat and sing-along chorus, speeding tickets may increase.

"Plastic" is about appreciating a girl who is anything but (plastic that is). Co-written with MVP writer Ashley Gorley ("Crash My Party," "Play It Again" among many others), this is a hit that the girls will like and the guys will like that they like. These lines could be tried out in honky tonks and college dances across the country. "Your Place or Mine" is not what you might expect with that throw-back title and instead is similar in content to Lady A's "Need You Now" from the opposite point of view.

The closing "Drink You Up" is a full-blown disco track that could have been right at home at Studio 54 in mid-1970's NYC. With references to an actual disco ball, this is the biggest departure. Well done, but quite a surprise.

While some of the Texas fans who have followed the band for the last 15 years might long for the rawness of the old days, "Turn It On" could also be viewed as another step in the maturation and evolution of EYB, as they trying converting more fans into the ever-expanding, albeit, radio-friendly, tent.