Music review: Eli Young Band’s ‘Even If It Breaks Your Heart’

This CMA-nominated song sheds some insight into the power of dreams and the necessary sacrifices in order to make them come true.

Eli Young Band

The Country Music Awards has nominated the Eli Young Band not once but twice this year. They are up for Vocal Group of the Year and Song of the Year for “Even If It Breaks Your Heart.” If they win the latter award, it goes to songwriters Will Hoge and Eric Paslay. So, when I heard the famous song, I made a mental note to pay extra close attention to the lyrics.

Weight in the words

In the opening sequence, I could not help but think about how syrup-y smooth the voice was, and when the rest of the band joined in to harmonize, their synchrony was unexpectedly pleasing (and equally smooth). Catchy tune and comfy voices aside, what makes this song is the lyrics:

“Some dreams stay with you forever,
Drag you around but bring you back to where you were.
Some dreams keep on gettin better,
Gotta keep believin’ if you wanna know for sure.”

The chorus (above) in performance displays best the artists’ passion for the lyrics. Rythmically, the song plateaus pretty quickly, staying in a narrow range with little variation, but its redeeming quality is in the wisdom interwoven among the lyrics. A standard drumbeat accompanied by steady, familiar guitar strumming makes for a song you still will sing along and tap your toes to — maybe not knowing what most of the song means. Taste of Country in its review even admitted that although it’s hard to understand at times, the song is poetic.

This second single off the album Life at Best debuted at #60 on Billboard‘s Hot Country Songs, but just like the band’s highly publicized work ethic (check out their bio on their website!), persevered to hit a peak of #1. Not the most relatable song, it still highlights what I would imagine are the ups and downs and all the rigors of the music business. Budding musicians — listen up!

The title almost fooled me

For a moment, I had assumed this would be a sacrifical sad love song based on the title (I was like, okay great, I’ll get the tissues and prepare to pity myself). But the song’s title is only 50 percent of the line it’s from, which actually has an optimistic outlook:

“Keep on dreamin, even if it breaks your heart.”

I figure, just like these four college musicians ventured together in to the musical wilderness to pursue their dreams years ago (yes, I am talking about Eli Young Band), we should never forget our own dreams, especially because of the fear of failure.

Facing tough competition — but a win could happen

Ultimately, it’s a warm, feel-good song, so it’ll be a crowd-pleaser. Still, it’ll be tough going against Blake Shelton, Miranda Lambert, and the heavyweight nomination champion Eric Church (yea, I’m gushing over here) among many others. But here’s hoping that Eli Young Band dreams to take home the win this year, because with their luck, it may come true!

Image courtesy of Judy Eddy/

For more music reviews, check out:

Blake Shelton’s “God Gave Me You”
Taylor Swift’s “Begin Again”
Jason Aldean’s “The Only Way I Know”