American Idol‘s most recently crowned winner Scotty McCreery has already crossed Disneyland off his list, and now the 17-year-old singer is hoping to visit the top of the charts with the release of his debut album, Clear As Day. His premiere single, “I Love You This Big”, kicked off Scotty’s career in a big way by becoming the highest-charting debut for a new artist (#32 on the Billboard Hot Country charts) since 1990. Will the rest of the songs on his LP help the North Carolina native stick around longer than you can say “Lee DeWyze”? Head below to take a sneak peek at the Idol champ’s album in our Fall Music Preview.
ALBUM: Clear As Day (Mercury Nashville/19 Recordings/Interscope)
RELEASE DATE: October 4
SINGLES RELEASED SO FAR: His Idol coronation song “I Love You This Big”, as well as “The Trouble With Girls”.
ALBUM PRODUCERS: The album was produced by Mark Wright, noted knob-twiddler of albums from Reba McIntyre, Rascall Flatts and other country-minded Idol winner Carrie Underwood.
Several well-known scribes in the country music community contributed to Scotty’s LP, such as Neil Thrasher (Rascall Flatts), Craig Wiseman (Kenny Chesney) and Aussie country super star Keith Urban, who contributed his song “Walkin’ The Country”, originally recorded when he was in The Ranch. Sadly, nary a track penned by Rodney “Darkchild” Jerkins made the cut of Scotty’s debut disc.
WHAT TO EXPECT: Like you need us to tell you at this point. Instead, we’ll let Scotty spell it out for you:
“Clear as Day is definitely country and it’s definitely me,” McCreery has said of his album. “It has some old country influences and elements, but it also has a contemporary feel with fun up-tempo songs. It’s a good mixture. You can hear some of the influences that I grew up with, like Hank Williams, Conway Twitty and Merle Haggard, but it still has a contemporary twist and feel that keeps it up to date.”
He also made it as clear as day (heh) that his disc is “not going to be poppy… I grew up with the old-school stuff, so I didn’t want to completely stray from that. We’ve got the rocker songs, the uptempo stuff. But when we slow it down, the songs get more intimate, and you can definitely hear some of the more classic elements.”
OUR THOUGHTS: Scotty was one of if not the most consistent performer during Idol‘s tenth season, and it was no surprise to us he was crowned the country-crooning champ — by an impressive 122.4 million votes, to boot. We don’t think Scotty’s hounddog tunes will carry the same crossover appeal as Carrie Underwood to both the pop and country crowd (and their respective charts), but he should have no problem finding a nice home in his niche. With that syrupy, mature twang of his, he already sounds like he’s been going pro for years.
Don’t miss our previews of these other fall albums:
Lady Antebellum, Own The Night
Katy B, On A Mission
Demi Lovato, Unbroken
Dev, The Night The Sun Came Up
The Bangles, Sweetheart Of The Sun
Cody Simpson, Coast To Coast
Tony Bennett, Duets II
J. Cole, Cole World: The Sideline Story