This past May, Scotty McCreery was announced the winner of American Idol season 10 and five months later, the now 18-year-old singer has released his debut album, Clear As Day. McCreery worked on the album this past summer while headlining the American Idols Live! tour, which took him all over the U.S., Canada, and the Philippines.
Clear As Day producer Mark Bright had nothing but praise for the singer. “His voice is shockingly great,” he said in a press release. “Everybody knows Scotty has a deep voice, but what a lot of people don’t know is that he has a pretty high range. His listeners will get to hear the nuances, emotions, and actual range of his voice.”
Clear As Day kicks off with “Out of Summertime,” which was originally slated to be McCreery’s Idol coronation single. It’s a sweet, uptempo number in which the singer looks back on a summer love. Truth be told, I think it would have made an excellent follow-up single to McCreery’s first one, “I Love You This Big.” Nevertheless, McCreery’s second single, “The Trouble With Girls,” is quite charming. His voice combined with the song’s lyrics (“They smile that smile, they bat those eyes, they steal you with hello, they kill you with goodbye”) have the ability to make any girl swoon. A song that anyone at any age can relate to is “Back on the Ground.” All of us at some point have impatiently waited for the right time to leave our hometowns to lead our own lives. Whether you’re a country music star returning from a tour, like McCreery, or a student visiting from college, sometimes being back at home is just the slice of humble pie we need. The song comes across in a purely heartfelt fashion, and it really strikes a chord with me.
I always wanted to hear more uptempo numbers from McCreery during his time on Idol, and he has more than made up for it on Clear As Day with songs like “Better Than That” and “You Make That Look Good.” Both selections really showcase his personality and a whole different side to his vocals. That said, the two big standout tracks on the album for me are “Water Tower Town” and “Dirty Dishes.” When I first listened to “Water Tower Town,” I just knew it had to be some sort of tribute to McCreery’s hometown of Garner, North Carolina. Turns out I was right.
“[The song] reminds me of Garner, which has a big water tower right across from the baseball fields where I grew up playing ball,” McCreery said in a press release. “It has a lot of elements in there that remind me of Garner.”
Hands down, this song has the catchiest chorus on the album. It’s the one track that I still catch myself humming along to. I also like how McCreery utilizes multiple aspects of his vocals in singing it. You hear the deep, rich side of his voice that we fell in love with on Idol, along with a slightly higher range during the chorus, which allows him to show off more of a contemporary sound.
The other standout, “Dirty Dishes,” is a track that McCreery referred to in the aforementioned press release as having “passed the Mama crying test.” It tells a story of a family siiting down to dinner and the mother giving thanks for things in life often taken for granted, like having enough food to eat. The overall sentiment is quite touching, and McCreery’s voice as the narrator is the icing on the cake.
Clear As Day is a 12-song snapshot of who McCreery is not only as a country music artist, but also as an 18-year-old guy ready to leave his mark on the world. With his album debuting last week on multiple Billboard music charts at Number One, I think the young singer is well on his way to being a country music star.