Eli Young Band have notched back-to-back No. 1 hits, although it’s not clear how they’re doing it. Nothing about the band is conventional country music. Their new single ‘Say Goodnight’ is similarly moody and understated — almost emo-country, if such a genre exists. That could be the secret to their magic.

Strong songwriting continues to provide a sturdy structure for Mike Eli and company to work from. Each of the 14 songs on ‘Life at Best’ are put together with care, and ‘Say Goodnight’ is no exception. Katrina Elam, Melissa Pierce and John Paul White are economical in their writing without cheating fans of imagery. Sparse instrumentation early gives the story room to be told and enjoyed.

Say goodnight / Oh won’t you let me pull you into me / Go wherever all these kisses lead / Turn down the bed / Turn out the lights and / Say goodnight,” Eli sings during the ‘Say Goodnight’ chorus.

Eli’s not a gifted country crooner. His voice isn’t built for a sexy love song like Chris Young‘s or Josh Turner‘s, but he’s sincere and not intimidated by the style.

What’s the point of trying to pretend / That we don’t want to just give in / Why are we holdin’ onto this day / Let’s just let it fade away and / Say Goodnight,” he adds as the second verse begins.

It’s difficult to criticize Eli Young Band for their lazy melodies and commitment to mid-tempo, emotional fare, because it’s working so well for them. Both of their last two singles not only went to No. 1, but they were big sellers at iTunes, too. Can one million people be wrong? Absolutely. But it’s more likely that one music critic is missing something that’s obvious to the group’s exploding fanbase.

Listen to Eli Young Band, ‘Say Goodnight’