Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Album Review: Scotty McCreery - Clear As Day

American Idol has been good to country music.  Bucky Covington, Josh Gracin, Danny Gokey, Kellie Pickler and Carrie Underwood have all come to Nashville through the singing competition.  The most recent season brought us two more, Lauren Alaina (whose album review is forthcoming) and Scotty McCreery, the High School Senior who won the tenth season.

Listening to the album, it is hard to believe that the voice belongs to a guy who just turned 18 this week.  The voice is deep and mature, his lyrics heartfelt and relatable.  He has already charted at #15 on the country charts with his debut single "I Love You This Big" and this album is expected to debut at #1 on the Billboard 200.

McCreery kicks the album off with "Out Of Summertime", an upbeat song about the one that got away because they ran out of time.  Scotty channels the feel of a Jake Owen summer tune perfectly and the song serves as a great intro to those unfamiliar with the artist.  "I Love You This Big", the song he performed on the "Idol" finale, follows and will likely serve as the love anthem for 2011.  Here is where the deep voice that made fans fall in love with the singer is really showcased.  The attitude with which he performs is years beyond his youth.  Enjoy the video:

The "Idol" winner keeps rolling with "Clear As Day" a simple song about reminiscing about a girl he met in the parking after a football game.  The song is generally positive, recalling the night they met "clear as day", until the end, when it takes a somber turn.  "The Trouble With Girls", McCreery's second single, keeps the slow pace.  The title is a bit misleading, as it is about all the things he loves about girls, ending the chorus with "Yeah the trouble with girls/ Is nobody loves trouble as much as me".  The song, as slow as it is, is catchy and the lyrics stick in your head.

"Water Tower Town" is a song pretty much every country singer has done, a song about the town they grew up in.  That is not to say anything bad about it, as the Garner, North Carolina native says that the song perfectly describes where he grew up.  Look for this to be a future single.  "Walk In The Country" is a great cruising song, originally written by Keith Urban in an old band he was a member of.  This song deserves to be blasted in a truck with the windows down.  "Better Than That" is another catchy tune about all the amazing things in life and how they still do not compare to his girl's love.

"Write My Number On Your Hand" is a little odd, with a ukulele providing the main musical accompaniment. "Dirty Dishes" is one of the best songs on the album.  The family sits down to eat and Mama says an unusual prayer "I wanna thank you Lord/ For noisy children and slammin' doors" she prays.  She includes being grateful for clothes scattered on the floor, a husband busy with work, a messy kitchen and dirty dishes.  The family looks at her funny and her husband asks if she is alright before she explains.  The song is a must listen for anyone, especially mothers, who deal with the day to day life of raising kids and sometimes get so fed up and frustrated.

Legendary songwriter "Rhett Akins" penned "You Make That Look Good" for McCreary, and the upbeat song about how a girl can make anything look good (even a mud-covered Ford) is one of many catchy tunes on the album.

The North Carolina native ends with two slow songs.  "Back On The Ground" is a song about slowing down and staying grounded.  Reminiscing about how he could not wait to get out of the town and on to his life, the singer realizes that he needs to come back home once in a while just to relax and not let his fame go to his head.  "That Old King James" is about a Bible that was passed down from his grandpa to his mom and now to him.  All three generations looked to it for hope, whether it was in World War II, raising the singer, or when the singer is feeling down.

Scotty McCreary's album is a solid effort for the American Idol winner on his first time out.  The many catchy songs will likely lead to him having a number one single before he gets to his second album.  Country music fans of all ages will be shocked by, and fall in love with, the voice emanating from this 18 year-old singer.  7.5/10

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