Hidden Gem: Eli Young Band’s “When It Rains”

Eli Young Band may be known for smash hits such as “Even If It Breaks Your Heart,” “Crazy Girl” and “Drunk Last Night,” but before they were stars they released a gem titled “When It Rains.” ┬áIf you liked those hits, you’re bound to love “When It Rains.”

“When It Rains” is pop-country done to a tee. The production is crisp, uncluttered and unique. The guitar hook is incredible, and truly defines the song without being over the top, a truly brilliant feat. The beat pulsates nicely, driving the song without being overpowering. It’s nice to be able to listen to a pop-country song and not have it be loaded with blaring guitars and a hip-hop beat.

Lyrically it’s a clever song. Built around the idea that when it rains, the narrator fits in due to everyone else already feeling depressed and down. It perfectly portrays a melancholy feel while feeling genuine and real. The hook is catchy and memorable without being completely mindless a la many of today’s mainstream hits.

But perhaps what I like most about this sterling effort is Mike Eli’s performance. He perfectly projects a feeling of somberness and loneliness without going full on Gary LeVox-esque shouting, which is one his strengths as a performer. He hits every note perfectly, further proving that he’s one of country music’s strongest emotive vocalists.

“When It Rains” is an impressive effort by one of the most consistent radio acts today. It’s hooky, melancholy, and accessible. Good stuff.