Scotty McCreery’s debut, “Clear as Day,” was one of the biggest-selling albums released in country music during 2011. Of course, coming on the heels of his “American Idol” win, the album was put together very quickly. For his follow-up, he (along with producers Frank Rogers and Mark Bright) had time to stretch his musical wings in the studio, and the resulting release, “See You Tonight,” hits stores tomorrow. How did they do? Very well, to be honest. A track-by-track look:
1. Now – An invitation to party, one that should meet with resounding agreement from McCreery’s ever-present fan based. Should very well be a huge crowd favorite.
2. See You Tonight – The set’s first single and title track, this cut has an undeniable tempo and groove that makes it sound right at home on the airwaves. While radio-ready, the song gives Scotty a chance to show how much he has grown as a vocalist – and he rises to the occasion.
3. Get Gone With You – One of his strongest performances on a ballad yet, I can see this one possibly being one of the major love ballads of the summer of 2014. Again, a testament to his continuing vocal development.
4. Feelin’ It – Co-written by Gospel star Matthew West, the song has a definite contemporary sheen. It’s probably not going to win any Song of the Year prizes, but it’s just 3:!9 of fun. Sometimes, that’s as it should be!
5. Feel Good Summer Song – I love how the steel guitar seems to add the right amount of yearning and passion on this track, which takes a very different direction than what you might thing. One of the most dramatic tracks McCreery has ever done!
6. Buzzin’ – A pretty good instrumental showcase for Nashville’s finest musicians. Again, it will likely be a huge live song. It doesn’t really set itself apart from similar themed tracks, but it definitely has a sparkle about it that makes it a winner!
7. Can You Feel It – The song has as much swagger as anything he has ever recorded. The chorus helps to slam this one out of the ballpark for a home run.
8. The Dash – Very meaningful song about living each day as it were your last. McCreery adds the right amount of passion and emotion on the standout track.
9. Blue Jean Baby – A very hook and groove laden cut. This one will have fans singing along all night long. Again, it’s about fun, and it sounds like nobody is having as much fun as Bojangles’ celebrity representative!
10. Forget To Forget You – Emotional and powerful verses give way to a very melodic and wordy chorus – which he pulls off very convincingly.
11. I Don’t Wanna Be Your Friend – Thumping beat sounds like a lot like the other hits on the radio, but McCreery’s personality keeps this one from being a sound-a-like – thanks in large part to his natural North Carolina twang,
12. Carolina Moon – By far, the most traditional recording that the ‘American Idol’ winner has ever cut. The song also gets a lift from the beautiful harmonies of the incomparable Alison Krauss.
13. Something More – There might be a few who take offense to this song, which kicks off with lyrics such as “By now, I think I’ve heard every line there is to hear about a truck,” but the song is actually a tribute to some of great subjects that make country music great rather than a criticism.