It’s hard to hate Scotty McCreery. This genuine country kid sings what he knows. At the ripe age of 18 there’s not much more to life besides high school, family, and girls, and that’s what his deep drawl reflects in his first album. His old school twang sets him apart from the other up and comers in the country music industry, but he’s only beginning to scratch the surface of his potential. He’s clinging to a comfort zone that is holding him back. This isn’t ‘Idol’ and these songs aren’t covers, so once he finds his own angle – he’ll be unstoppable. But for right now, he’ll just have to settle for number one on the Billboard charts. Maybe he’s farther down the road to success I thought.
Here’s a track by track review of his Clear As Day Album, with comments from Scotty taken from a Billboard interview.
Out of Summertime:
It’s a country boy’s rendition of the Grease classic Summer Nights. Instead of in a leather coat on bleachers, I picture Scotty sitting under a tree among fallen leaves, strumming his guitar and a thought bubble above his head reminiscing a summer of love. “She was hot as July and sweet as sunshine,” and that’s the best description we get. It doesn’t go there. We don’t need a bunch of “sho bop bops,” but more of a storyline would turn dull to “the one that we want.”
Scotty said: “That was originally supposed to be the first single and then ‘I Love You This Big’ got switched around at the last minute. It’s a nice, fun, summertime type song so we enjoyed recording this one.”
I Love You This Big:
I like the honest and sweet idea of this song, but he’s 18, not eight. I don’t think he should try to act like something he’s not, but “I’ll love you to the moon and back, I’ll love you all the time, Deeper than the ocean, And higher than the pines,” sounds too much like a children’s book.
Scotty said: “My baby. This is my first single so it’s kind of like watching a child grow up as it went up on Billboard [charts], but it was a song I kind of fell in love with when I first heard it. It had a great melody and a great message to it, and it fit the ‘Idol’ moment.”
Clear as Day:
Now, this is a story. I’m suddenly comparing Scotty’s high school Friday nights to mine and we connect on every level. From the big win to the butterflies, I’m nodding my head every step on the way. Then, it takes an unexpected turn, leaving listeners with goosebumps: “I walked you to your brother’s silverado, When he climbed behind the wheel he seemed okay, Last thing you said is I’ll call you tomorrow, But that’s a call you never got to make, They blamed it on the fog and pouring rain, That night’s still Clear As Day.” It’s the sad truth that the strong connection made at the beginning is so easy to keep through the end.
Scotty said: “This is one of my favorite songs on the album. This is one of those songs that’s really relatable to a lot of people and a lot of people have been through what the song talks about. It really rips your heart out right at the end.”
The Trouble With Girls:
The trouble with this song is that now I want Scotty McCreery to be my boyfriend. An four-minute long, adorable, backhanded compliment makes girls everywhere smile knowing that a boy can admit we’re irresistible in the simplest of ways.
Scotty said: “Don’t let the title fool you — it’s not talking about what’s wrong with girls. It’s really a sweet song about all the nice things about girls and how beautiful they are and respecting females.”
It’s nothing new, but it gets the job done with key country vocabulary and an upbeat tune.
Scotty said: “This is one that really speaks to my hometown — Garner, North Carolina — so it’s special to me. It reflects a lot of the things I grew up with, and the water tower in my town was right across the railroad tracks from the baseball fields I grew up playing at, so it’s a cool little imagery thing for me when I’m singing it.”
Walk in the Country With Me:
There’s a lot of twang, not a lot of anything else.
Scotty said: “This is Keith Urban’s song that he put on his album ‘In The Ranch.’ It was really cool to have someone like Keith Urban pitch this song to me that he’s already recorded and he’s done. It’s become one of the band’s favorites to perform live. That would be amazing if me and Keith could do it together. He’s the one who wrote it. This is his song, I’m just singing it and having fun with it so it’d be amazing.”
Better Than That:
It’s a boys realization that girls don’t actually have cooties and that maybe sliding into first base might be better off the diamond.
Scotty said: “This is one of the upbeat, fun ones on the album. I think it’s my dad’s favorite, actually. He’s always listening to this one when he goes running and stuff. It’s just a cool, cute, kind of summer song talking about all these things that you never thought anything could top, your love’s better than that.”
Write My Number on Your Hand:
This one reminds me a lot of Billy Currington’s Good Directions, just replace the flirtation location to a lake instead of a roadside. Side note: since when are we more likely to have a pen instead of our cell phones to remember a number?
Scotty said: “To me, it had a Hawaiian feel and it had that different kind of feel that I was looking for to kind of add that mixture to the album.”
Love it. A wonderful message from the wonderful women who raised us.
Scotty said: “This one passed the mama crying test. It’s really special to me and my family since ‘Idol’ and since we left for Hollywood. We left but we hadn’t really had a family dinner since then, sitting down at the table with mama cooking and all of us around the table, because we’d been so busy on the road. It really talks about that and the family getting together and mama thanking the Lord for things that sometimes you might get annoyed by, like noisy children slamming doors, but it’s a cool way of looking at it, because it says noisy kids are happy kids and slamming doors means we live in a nice home.”
You Make That Look Good:
This song gets lost among the other tracks in the album. There’s nothing special enough to set it apart.
Scotty said: “This is kind of the rocker song on the album. Actually, Rhett Akins wrote this song and his son, Thomas, wrote ‘Write My Number On Your Hand.'”
Back On The Ground:
If Dirty Dishes is for mother’s who are still telling kids to quiet down or wash their hand, this one is for the mother’s who wish they still had to. It’s equally as true, just a few chapters later in life.
Scotty said: “This one speaks to a lot of what I’ve been through the last couple months and now, where I’m at now in my life. It’s nice to slow down sometimes and get away from Hollywood and the big cities and kind of go back home, get your feet back on the ground, get your bearings straight, and remember where you came from.”
The Old King James:
The album ends with a track that is unlike the rest. Instead of following a girl or a dream, it follows his grandfather’s Bible. It provides a subtle, memorable message with a story that leaves listeners thinking.
Scotty said: “We were looking to put kind of a gospel or Christian song on the album to end it off, and we were thinking of putting a hymn or something like that. We hadn’t found it yet and this was it. Immediately, it struck a chord with me.”