Eighteen-year-old “American Idol” winner Scotty McCreery’s debut album features the deep vocals that made him famous and the Southern, small-town roots that inspire his wholesome, country sound.
McCreery’s first release, “Clear as Day,” is a pleasant combination of love songs that celebrates his upbringing in a town in North Carolina. The classic country album seamlessly flows between slow and upbeat tracks that showcase his diversity as an artist.
“Water Tower Town,” his celebratory ode to sweet tea and Friday night football, is driven by a high-energy rhythm and an infectious guitar riff that turns his small-town charm into an amiable track suited for hit radio.
The title track is an unexpected heartbreaker that showcases emotional depth unparalleled in the rest of the album. It starts off as a simple ballad of a love lost but vividly remembered. The song tells the story of McCreery’s feelings for a young girl, and his wish to relive days they spent together before she died in a tragic car accident. The smooth acoustic guitar and detail-rich lyrics suit McCreery’s voice well, but the song’s crowning glory is in its somber surprise ending in which he contemplates fate and the ever-changing nature of his life.
McCreery shines during the album’s upbeat tunes designed to make his female listeners swoon. Backed by a ukulele reminiscent of the Zac Brown Band and a country sound similar to Tim McGraw in the 1990s, McCreery’s sweet and happy vocals soar in “Better Than That.” With this track, he unveils his ability to take inspiration from fellow country artists to create a pleasantly sweet song.
Overall, America’s newest “Idol” creates a debut collection that shows his potential to become a superstar country musician is “clear as day.”