The Eli Young Band started out their career in the Texas/Red Dirt scene. They gained a pretty big following in the biggest country music scene outside of Nashville. After experiencing decent chart success under independent labels, they moved to the Republic Nashville label in 2011 and have been in the mainstream scene ever since. They’ve had a few #1 hits and are a relatively well-known country band. The music they’ve produced since joining the mainstream scene has been hit or miss. They just released a new EP titled Turn It On and the lead single from it is the EP title track, “Turn It On.” It’s already charting in the top 60 of the Country Airplay chart, so I definitely wanted to check this single out.
So is this song a hit or miss by the band? I’m definitely going with miss. Right away you can tell this is just another pop country minus the country party song that caters to radio. The opening lyrics indicate it’s a guy in a bar or club talking it up with a girl and of course trying to get lucky. It’s yet another hookup song. Also it’s under neon lights because that’s supposed to make this song hip and cool. The instrumentation in this song is your generic, adult-contemporary sound with the nothing special guitar lyrics. In other words, same shit different song.
The chorus of this song is an annoying ear worm meant to get stuck in your head and drive you nuts. Not in a good way either. Just look at the chorus:
I can’t turn it off, turn it off, turn it off the way you turn it
Turn it on, turn it on, turn it on girl I’ll admit right now
I’m just about halfway gone, baby you can do no wrong
And I can’t turn it off the way you turn it on
How many songs now does that make where it’s chorus is essentially repeating itself several times with the exact same phrase? I like to think the success of Joe Nichols’ “Yeah” is what spawned this repetitive, clichéd chorus fetish that is present in too many country songs nowadays. By the way those above lines are pretty much the song, as its repeated ad nauseam. The lyrics in between this are simply filler so the song can repeat the hook again.
This uncreative garbage is getting pretty old. Then again I’m not surprised either. With the success of Sam Hunt, all of the other trend-chasing artists in the genre are going to try to follow suit in the way Hunt’s music is styled. Eli Young Band shows with this song they don’t give a crap about quality. It’s all about the money for them and they’ll churn out whatever they have to for radio success. You know why people hate sellouts? They hate sellouts because it’s easy. Making generic radio hits is easy to pull off. Making great music is difficult. It’s a true art form where you put your heart and soul into it. “Turn It On” is the opposite of heart and soul. It’s corporate, lifeless radio filler and I highly recommend you avoid it.