Album Review: Scotty McCreery’s ‘See You Tonight’

Scotty-See You Tonight-album cover

Scotty McCreery promised a more grown up version of himself on his sophomore album, and the majority of See You Tonight embraces themes typical of a soon-to-be twenty year old college sophomore along with a contemporary country orientation suited to country radio’s current target demographic. Whereas the youthful love songs of his debut album felt a little more innocent, Scotty shows more understanding of attraction, libido, and heartbreak on See You Tonight. He leaves behind residual goody-two-shoes constraints in favor of a more carefree, sneak-away-&-stay-out-all-night-and-make-out attitude on several summery jams and ballads. But he also shows his interest in the kind of country music that speaks to life’s journey, and the fact that he closes his sophomore album with two such songs illustrates both Scotty’s recognition of the current country market and his wish that it would return to its story-oriented ways.

Under the studio stewardship of producer Frank Rogers, the uptempo tracks on Scotty’s sophomore album feature a heavier, driving contemporary sound distinguished by occasional jug band accents. In fact, most of See You Tonight is a study in reconciling the pop and rock sounds in contemporary country with Scotty’s traditional leanings. Scotty’s voice anchors all of the songs in his home genre and shows undeniable improvement in the sensitivity of his phrasing and interpretation. In fact, the most notable aspect of Scotty’s sophomore album is probably Scotty’s development of a personality as a recording artist. His performances bring individuality to songs that for the most part would fit on any modern country male’s album.

To pre-order Scotty’s See You Tonight at Itunes, click HERE.

The Songs

“Now” gets the album off to a country-rockin’ start, running through a variety of typical rural party locales (from a parking lot to a “hillbilly yacht” to a “rundown bar”) over some catchy guitar grooves before its anthemic chorus announces Scotty’s readiness for a crazy all-night party, wherever it is. Listeners will have to decide whether they buy the idea of Scotty being the hell-raising party kind. But to be fair, this is the kind of song that makes much more sense coming from a college sophomore than it does from country stars twice his age. Scotty uses his deep voice to make the lyric believable, and this is a song that will likely play well live. “Feelin’ It” extends the carefree vibe into the summertime setting, with silly but playful rhythmic verses (“Pop tops popping, flipflops flopping, drop tops droppin’ down/Raybans rayin’, waves are wavin’, ladies are layin’ out”) and a singalong chorus.

“Can You Feel It” also brings together a rhythmic groove created by washboard-like percussion and a drum loop with fiddle, banjo, a Jew’s harp and a rocked-up chorus. The result is the environment for another rather lusty song about an all-night getaway with his woman. The Jew’s harp is also prominent on “Buzzin’” in which Scotty casually tosses off lines about people indulging various vices or stimulants (alcoholic, smoked, and even religious) while claiming all he needs to get the same feeling is some loving from his girl. The chorus and guitar solo of “Buzzin’” are reminiscent of the typical Brad Paisley chorus, and the chorus also cleverly features a revival-ish feel to go along with its “revival” reference. Those connections were likely brought in by long-time Paisley collaborator Frank Rogers (who cowrote the song in addition to producing Scotty’s album). The language of these uptempos isn’t especially elegant or eloquent, but the production, melody and vocal combine to give each track personality.

The final upbeat tempo track of See You Tonight, “I Don’t Wanna Be Your Friend” is a jaunty tune built on stereotypical gender roles (she likes her chick flicks, he likes his sports and so on), and it’s about the dynamic between two people who clearly like each other as more than friends but haven’t taken that next step. Well, Scotty finally makes his move in the song. The song’s energy dips a little with a repetitive bridge that goes nowhere, but it serves its purpose as another song about in-the-now, carefree young attraction. Fittingly for a guy his age, Scotty doesn’t sing too much about lifelong, deep love or commitment on See You Tonight. The title track/lead single is another love song about seizing the moment and throwing caution to the wind. Love is mostly about possibility, as it should be to a 20 year old.

In that lane, “Get Gone With You” is a sweet, midtempo contemporary country love song where a boy tries to persuade his girl to run away with him, maybe for a few days, maybe forever (not seriously). Scotty’s vocal restraint lends itself really well to his tender, awe-struck interpretation – not only is he wooing his lady, he is kind of swooning himself over how she makes him feel. How far Scotty has come from the endearing and humorous awkwardness of his debut album standout, “Write My Number On Your Hand.” Scotty also finds success in restraint on “Blue Jean Baby,” a song that takes the increasingly common country trope of the hot girl in tight blue jeans and turns it into a full-blown, groovy midtempo that’s as much about that girl’s love affair with that particular pair of blue jeans as it is about how attractive he finds her in them. The melody brings out the blue-eyed soul in Scotty’s voice, a quality unheard on his debut album.

Although a lot of See You Tonight is about the thrill of young love, Scotty also shows his increased maturity as a singer on the album’s heartbreak songs. The ironically titled “Feel Good Summer Song” features some of See You Tonight’s most descriptive lyrics as it follows a guy looking to avoid festive, sunny scenes that remind him of good times with the woman he lost. He just wants wallow in his heartbreak for a little while. Scotty takes to this pop-leaning tune with well-placed steel guitar accents really well, showing increased depth, modulation and control in his upper register singing and delivering a completely believable emotional performance. Cowritten by J.T. Harding, Shane McAnally, and Josh Osborne, the song doubles as a critique of country radio’s glut of upbeat party songs, as Scotty asks “But how can I get over you when every station is playing a feel-good summer song?” The message here is similar to the one in the McAnally/Brandy Clark-penned Wade Bowen single “Songs About Trucks,” and represents another strike by McAnally and his collaborators against the one-dimensionality of country radio at this time.

Meanwhile, “Forget To Forget You” is See You Tonight‘s sole power ballad, and a song from the point of view of a guy who can’t quite ditch his lingering feelings for the woman he has lost. He gently warns her that he may slip up and text her or send her flowers like he used to, but it’s just because he “forget[s] to forget” her “sometimes.” It’s a lyric that might come off as creepy in the wrong hands, but Scotty’s interpretation conveys the sense of a guy who is fighting himself and his memories more than anything else. As he tries to tell himself in the rhythmically catchy chorus, “it ain’t nothin’ but a habit, I can break it, I can shake it, I can make it on my own.” He begs his ex not to think of him as the “‘God I gotta get you back’, ‘probably never gonna get over you’ kind.” Except, of course, that’s exactly how he sees himself right now. It’s a well-played, “opposite day” style of lyric, and Scotty delivers it with conviction and emotional intelligence.

That conviction brings us to a trifecta of songs that seem to reflect the kind of song Scotty would like more room to sing. Scotty opens See You Tonight’s closing track, “Something More,” a song he cowrote with his producer Frank Rogers, by singing, “By now I think I’ve heard every line there is to hear about a truck, And I’ve got the point that the beer tastes good when you’re down on your luck.” He goes on to say “And don’t get me wrong, a summer song sounds good when you’re on the shore,” but sometimes he yearns to hear that something that means “something more.” What follows is a list of examples relating to family, faith, friendship, health, birth, marriage, and death. It’s a somewhat surprising closer coming from a relative newbie to the scene on an album with no shortage of summer songs. But after all, the point of the song is the need to balance out the fun with something more meaningful.

“The Dash” is a country/pop ballad that lends some of that balance to See You Tonight. Set at a memorial service, the bulk of it is devoted to the message of the preacher delivering words of comfort to the grieving, “It’s always too soon, it’s always too fast. There’ll never come a day that you don’t want him back. It ain’t about the numbers chiseled in concrete. It’s how they live their lives in the dash between.” It’s a simple, maybe overly simple message on its own, but one that resonates thanks to what we learn about the man who passed away.

The military angle is arguably an easy, overused, and emotionally manipulative way to tap into patriotic feelings and reach an audience that has traditionally had a strong connection to country music. So in some ways, it’s not a surprise when we learn that the man being memorialized passed away in service to his country. But this isn’t a cheap, exploitative grab at the heartstrings so much as it is a concise way for the songwriters to convey an essential plot point – the man who passed away did so young. So the preacher’s message that “it’s always too soon, it’s always too fast. They’re always too young, it’s always so sad” directly addresses the premature-ness of the loss. His point is that grief is unavoidable no matter the age of the person who passed, and so in this moment, he is trying gently to redirect the mourners’ feelings to a celebration of what the man accomplished in the years he was with them. Somehow, out of a pile of well-worn tropes, songwriters Preston Brust and Kyle Jacobs weave a genuinely moving and universal message of comfort, and Scotty delivers their song with belief and understanding.

Meanwhile, the standout track on See You Tonight sees Scotty challenging himself to convey the point of view of a traveling man with some years behind him, reminiscing longingly about his now far off North Carolina family and roots. “Carolina Moon” is gorgeous, traditional country poetry-in-song and features a lovely, haunting harmony vocal from the great Alison Krauss. With a chorus that goes:

Now the years have blown by me like the wind through the pines.
But the song of the South is ever sweet as homemade wine.
Oh how I miss those mountains when the laurels are in bloom,
And the Southern stars are dancin’ ‘round the North Carolina moon.

the lyrics of the Jon Randall Stewart and Ronnie Stewart-penned song are simply on another level from anything else on See You Tonight and most contemporary country songs. Scotty delivers a respectful, loving interpretation of a song he is very smart to have claimed for himself, and his rendition of this song will only become more meaningful as he grows.

The Bottom Line
See You Tonight may traffic in some of the typical language (good-looking girls, tight jeans, summer, parties, coolers, tailgates, etc.) and trends of today’s male country but the album nonetheless feels reflective of Scotty’s personality and point of view thanks to the investment of his vocals and nimble production choices by Frank Rogers. What the songs may sometimes lack in originality and progressiveness is offset by Scotty’s success in placing his individual stamp on the material. The result is a confident, cohesive album with listenable uptempos interspersed among well-written, well-sung ballads, and enough emotional meat and lyrical substance to balance the carefree fun. Most notable about See You Tonight is Scotty’s growth into his voice, which has developed several new facets since his debut album including a strong, tender upper register and some real soulfulness.

Between that development and his increased sensitivity as an interpretive singer, See You Tonight feels like Scotty grown into a “real boy” or, more accurately, his own multi-dimensional man. Given the space to operate in the commercial country scene, there’s no reason he can’t excel among the people already on the field.

Album Highlights: “Carolina Moon,” “Feel Good Summer Song,” “Forget To Forget You”
Single Choices: Among the uptempos, “Feelin’ It” is kind of dopey but very catchy fun for the summer. If country radio continues to favor rhythmic rock-leaning material, “Can You Feel It” could fit the bill. Among the ballads, “Forget To Forget You,” “Feel Good Summer Song,” “Get Gone With You,” and “Blue Jean Baby” should all work well.

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Deb B

Also known as Windmills, I cover country music news and live televised country events, in addition to recapping ABC's 'Nashville.' Additionally, I occasionally do long-form chart analysis that has been cited by Entertainment Weekly, Pitchfork, The Guardian, The New Republic, NPR, and more.
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  • gem2477

    sounds awesome. :)

  • eyelinerandcigarettes

    I freaking adore Carolina Moon. I can’t even explain how much I love that song LOL. Sad that it has .0001% of becoming a single though.

    Anyways, great review! I agree with most of what you said. I agree that Feelin’ It should be a single. Same with Feel Good Summer Song, which is probably my second favorite (after Carolina Moon).

  • Lexie O’Neill

    I can’t wait to hear the full album. I only hope that whatever needs to happen happens so that he can get the hits he needs. Because I really want to follow this young man’s growth into his voice and gifts for a very long time.

    I think I’ll come back and re-read this review once I’ve got the album in my hands.:)

  • Kenna899

    Thank you for this review! Very well written and very fair.

    I remember the idol days when people called him a “Josh Turner knockoff” and that he doesn’t have his own identity. With this album(from what i have heard in snippets) it’s all recognizably Scotty to me. Scotty has really evolved as a performer too. He is always moving around the stage and his concerts interacting with the crowd and had great stage presence. I like that he doesn’t just stand there and sing during his concerts. I love watching him.

    I’m excited for the album and think it will see some great sales!

  • SaSa8

    This is really gonna be a great album. From what I have heard so far, Scotty’s voice is better than ever. he has grown so much and agree his delivery on these lyrics and emotions is awesome. Love the mix of youthful uptempo songs but also some slower emotional ballads. Great job Scotty! And thanks Windmills for the good review.

  • mchcat

    Thanks Windmills –
    From the snippets, which I play like a mini concert, I have a hard time choosing one so I am glad you chose several. I am so excited for the CD and hope it produces several hits. I am so ready for Scotty to hit this next level.

  • dd999

    Thanks Windmills for the great review. With only having listened to snippets its nice to have an over all idea of what each song is about. and how Scotty has grown since his last album. The snippet of Carolina Moon, was the one song that struck me right away as my favorite. I also like the snippet of Blue Jean Baby..but I’m anxious to hear the full version of all the songs as I think they’re all special in their own way!!

  • Sue tiedemann

    I just love all the songs that will be on Scotty’s album. I kept listening to the snippets and they are all so good it is very hard for me to choose my favorite. I guess I have to hear the whole song (which will be soon). But as of now I will make my picks: Blue Jean Baby and Carolina Moon make me keep going back to hear them again. So glad this album is more up to date and shows Scotty maturing!

  • Madilo

    I really hope he gets some good sales so that radios will play him more.
    Go Scotty !

  • NoCalGirl

    Enjoyed reading this review and can’t wait to hear the album in it’s entirety! Hard to believe 2 years have passed since CAD was released so just for kicks I went back & reread your review of it on this site. Had to laugh because at the bottom of your review you noted songs to skip as ILYTB, TTWG, and WWT which as we know were all released as singles! This time around I really hope that the singles that are released are indicative of what I think is going to be a really GREAT album that delivers Scotty’s first top 10 single/s or better!

  • L. R. M. L.

    Thank you Windmills for the great review. I have been listening to the snippets over and over and really have quite a few favourites, which includes Carolina Moon.
    I so hope Radio takes to 1 or 2 of those songs. They are so much better than a lot of what is being played on Radio right now.

  • CanadianLady

    Thanks for the review. Looking forward to getting my signed CD! :)

    From the snippets, one of my favourite moments is in Blue Jean Baby where he gets his falsetto going a la Brad. And it sounds great!

  • maddie

    Thanks for the review. I am very excited for the album to come out and especially the deluxe version and the walmart exclusive version. You can tell Scotty has grown from the snipets on itunes

  • Larc

    Very nice review, Windmills. Thanks! It makes me even more anxious to get Scotty’s new album. :)

  • windmills

    NoCalGirl: Hard to believe 2 years have passed since CAD was released so just for
    kicks I went back & reread your review of it on this site. Had to
    laugh because at the bottom of your review you noted songs to skip as
    ILYTB, TTWG, and WWT which as we know were all released as singles!

    Heh. Well, by the time I reviewed the album, TTWG was already the 2nd single – wasn’t a fan of it in the 1st place and then was even more annoyed when I heard the rest of the album that it had been picked as the 2nd CAD single. Then by the time the label went with WTT as the 3rd single, I was starting to think the label hated me :p

    I skipped listing “songs to skip” for this album because there’s nothing on this album that I’d put down there w ILYTB/TTWG/WTT. There are obviously some songs I’m not as into, but not to the point where I’m likely to skip them. Though if ‘Suntan’ had made the album, it would likely have been a skipper for me. 100% the right decision to leave it off IMO.

    NoCalGirl: This
    time around I really hope that the singles that are released are
    indicative of what I think is going to be a really GREAT album that
    delivers Scotty’s first top 10 single/s or better!

    This time, there’s no song which, if picked as a single, would annoy me the way the ILYTB/TTWG/WTT picks did. I have my ideas of what I think would work and maybe a couple ideas of what might not work as well, but nothing I think would be a disaster.

  • Lexie O’Neill

    A cool promotion technique…and The Launch for SYT shows up when you open Spotify.:))

    Scotty McCreeryVerified account
    the countdown to #SeeYouTonight on @SpotifyUSA has begun! Check back daily for exclusives!

  • mmmtx

    Thanks Windmills for a very thorough thoughtful review. I love all the songs – I love that SYT showcases the 20 year old Scotty – I love that the voice I fell in love with on Idol is still on this album along with vocal nuances that weren’t part of his Idol performances, nuances that take this album miles above CAD. I also love that the music production doesn’t overwhelm the song or the singer. Yes I am looking forward to getting my copies of SYT and to seeing him in concert in November when the music of SYT will be front and center! P.S. My overall favorite song is Carolina Moon, but I also love Buzzin and Feel Good Summer Song.

  • Madilo

    Would be so cool if Scotty could get another #1 but there’s a tough competition that week though. What gives me a little hope is that he has the highest last first week album sales out of all who’ll release, so it might be possible. I know it’s not comparable though because he was the winner and it’s been a long time.
    imo Pearl Jam will have the #1 (Pre-order #24 and single #3)

    What do you think ?

  • Lexie O’Neill

    We’re hoping for #1 Country. Anything else would be a wonderful surprise and not expected.

    By the way, which pre-order numbers are you posting? There are so many possible…Amazon, Walmart, itunes. Scotty said in an interview that 80% of his CAD sales were physical sales…

  • Madilo

    itunes only lol

  • Lexie O’Neill

    Oh, wow, this is cool…and on a radio station that isn’t QDR…

  • Happyhexer

    A hearty thank you to the Scotty fans who supported his first album, which gave him breathing room and allowed him time to develop as an artist and make the kind of album that I am interested in buying. We wouldn’t have album #2 but for you. So Scotty fans, give yourself a pat on the back for a job well done.

    Now, let’s hope country radio will see Scotty’s potential with this album and get with the program and start playing him more.

  • Happyhexer

    Don’t kill me, Lexie, but can you remind me one more time when Scotty’s CD drops? I think it’s early to mid October — maybe the week of October 15th? And I know to get my copy at Wal-Mart.

  • Lexie O’Neill

    Somehow, I only saw this now. Very happy to see this. Thanks.

  • Lexie O’Neill

    Next Tuesday.:))

    And definitely Walmart to get those extra songs (unless you really hate Suntan;).

  • Happyhexer

    Okay, I think I’ve finally got it in my tiny pea-sized brain. Tuesday, October 15th, Wal-Mart! :-D

  • Lexie O’Neill

    GAC posted their review of See You Tonight, the album. It’s very much positive, with my favorite line being…”Though he always had the chops, there’s plenty of evidence on See You Tonight that Scotty is developing into one of the genre’s finest singers.” :)) I posted this on this older thread because it seemed to fit–and I wanted to compare with Windmills’ fave songs.

  • Lexie O’Neill

    GAC’s fave songs were…“Get Gone With You, “Feel Good Summer Song,” “Buzzin’,” “Carolina Moon.”

    So, there’s agreement on Feel Good Summer Song and Carolina Moon.:))

  • Happyhexer

    Finally! I can reread Windmill’s review and compare it to what I think of Scotty’s new CD, now that my Internet is back up and running!

  • Lexie O’Neill

    I thought of doing that, but didn’t know if anyone would be interested. So, now that you’ve spurred me…I’m going to be brief.

    Fave Songs in Order: #1 Feel Good Summer Song, #2 Carolina Moon, # 3 Forget to Forget You (not kidding, or buttering you up, Windmills:), #4 tie between Buzzing and Can You Feel It, #5 Something More (may be higher, but I didn’t want to go just with the slow songs), oh, wait, Now is great, too. I also like Carolina Eyes, Feeling It, and This is the Night (enjoying the Walmart Exclusive). I just realize I left off See You Tonight…I’d place that about #6–I do love the song, but after so many months of listening to it as much as I have, I’m appreciating the new stuff.

    The only song that I may be tempted to skip is Roll Your Window Down. And it’s ironic that that’s the Peach Pickers cut. To me, there’s nothing interesting about it. Not bad, but not good, either.

  • Happyhexer

    Hey, Lexie! I bought the Walmart Deluxe version of Scotty’s new CD. After re-reading Windmills’ review, I wanted to listen to the CD again before making any comments.

  • Happyhexer

    This post is for Windmills & Lexie ~ PART I

    (My view of Scotty’s new CD vis-a-vis Windmills’ review of the album.)

    Keep in mind that I am not a Scotty fan. Never disliked him, but didn’t like him either. Never voted for Scotty on Idol. Thought he coasted on the show and couldn’t believe he won in a season with so much diverse talent. I didn’t think his phrasing was particularly good (so I couldn’t understand everyone who talked up Scotty’s “storytelling” ability). And his voice irritated me — Scotty has some vocal mannerisms or tics that I don’t enjoy. I also didn’t like and didn’t buy his first album, and couldn’t understand why it sold so well. (Sorry, Lexie, but I gotta be honest about how I felt about Scotty. I didn’t dislike him but wasn’t particularly interested in him either.)

    The beginning of the turnaround. Although I cringed at the dopey lyrics, I could see some promise in “I Love You This Big.” Scotty’s voice fit in with others on country radio. (I couldn’t stand “The Trouble with Girls,” though. And I never heard “Watertower Town” on the radio.)

    The turnaround. Despite my feelings, I still wanted Scotty to be successful with his second album, if only to break the sophomore Idol curse. So I stayed plugged in here at MJs and kept in touch with what Scotty was doing. Then at some point, MJ had a post with Scotty performing three new songs. One was his single “See You Tonight.” The other was Windmills’ hated “Suntan.” I am not sure what the third song was. But I liked all three songs, and I saw a lot of promise in the new single. (I am still scratching my head why it isn’t doing better. I find it very catchy. I’m thinking Windmills is right in suggesting that country radio is withholding approval in response to the three mediocre singles sent to radio from Scotty’s freshman effort.)

    When I heard those three songs, I pretty much decided then that I would check out the album and probably buy it. Which I did. Walmart Deluxe version.

  • Happyhexer

    This post is for Windmills & Lexie ~ PART II

    (My view of Scotty’s new CD vis-a-vis Windmills’ review of the album.)

    Short version, I agree a lot with what Windmills wrote in (her?) review. There isn’t a bad song on the CD. Of course, I like some songs better than others. But still, a very very solid, promising effort. Scotty sounds WAY better vocally. He has reined in that vocal tic that I don’t like. And his range has broadened. There is so much more confidence in his singing. And his phrasing is SO much better. THIS is what artist development is all about.

    The songs aren’t super-original, but that is not a slap at the songs so much as the fact that many of the themes have been done to death. And yet, these songs have been done really well. They are musically interesting (In terms of instrumentation and production), and Scotty generally sells them with his more grown-up presence and confidence. There are some little vocal flourishes that border on genius, they fit the song so well. (I’ll have to listen again to give one or two examples.) One disappointment was a couple of places where I would have liked to see more emotion from Scotty. But I have no doubt that will come with time.

    My favorite song hands down is “Carolina Moon.” Utterly gorgeous! Alison Krauss complements Scotty’s voice without overriding it. The song has a more traditional, throwback sound to it. Is it a cover? I’m surprised a song like this is even being written today. “Feel Good Summer Song” is also one that makes me sit up and take notice. I also like “Forget to Forget You,” and Scotty really sells the song — it doesn’t sound a bit stalkerish in his hands (more poignant instead). (And I am very sensitive to songs that sound stalkerish, like JT Hodges’ “Hunt You Down.”) I also really like “See You Tonight,” “Now,” and “Feelin’ It.” “Can You Feel It” is good, too, but I prefer “Feelin’ It.” I’m not sure how I feel about “Buzzin'”. I like part of the song, but not other parts. Also like “I Don’t Want to Be Your Friend.” Last, but not least, I like “Carolina Eyes.”

    I am disappointed in “The Dash,” because in my view, Scotty does not have enough emotion in his voice during the first verse. If I didn’t pay attention to the lyrics, the song could have been about a football game as much as an untimely death. Scotty needs to pay attention to Lee Brice’s “I Drive Your Truck.” THAT is believable. Overall, I thought Scotty did very well with his co-writes. They are among my favorite songs. “Before Midnight” is the weakest of the co-writes, and definitely only works as a bonus song. I actually find “Suntan” very enjoyable. Don’t kill me, Windmills! *ducks and covers* Not crazy about “Roll Your Window Down,” because it sounds too much like Florida-Georgia Line’s “Cruise.” Except Scotty can actually sing! *snark*

    One last point. I think Scotty shows his versatility with this album, and I hope the promise that it shows will make radio sit up and take notice. Scotty is every bit as adept at contemporary country pop/rock as anyone else out there, BUT he also can do songs like “Carolina Moon” and “Something More” very convincingly. I think he can straddle the traditional country and contemporary country lines very very well. I really hope radio will give Scotty another chance. He deserves it with this effort. And I think Scotty will continue to grow; I don’t think he’s finished plumbing his depths either as a singer or a songwriter.

  • Lexie O’Neill

    I really enjoyed reading this. I appreciate very much someone who isn’t a fan being open to and enjoying the music. That’s a form of objectivity that matters.

    As much as I was a fan from day 1 of his journey on Idol, I agree that this is artist development. His singing, and the songs he’s singing, are just so much better. I also believe he did very well with his co-writes–I think it’s funny how I started to think (unconsciously) that maybe he couldn’t write and that’s why he didn’t on the first album…so these songs were a very nice surprise. I also really hope radio and whatever it takes keeps him going.:))

  • Happyhexer

    The co-writes were a very pleasant surprise for me. Very promising!

  • windmills

    This was great to read! Glad you enjoyed the album, happyhexer. And haha, about you liking ‘Suntan.’ On some level I think I’m just sick and tired of that kind of song and it would really take something special to make me reconsider.

    I’m very glad I had a few weeks to sit with Scotty’s album before posting the review. During that time, there was a rush of male country releases: Chris Young, Billy Currington, Justin Moore, Tyler Farr, Joe Nichols (and Keith Urban, Alan Jackson’s bluegrass album, and so on. It was such an overwhelming flood of “bro country” that I really had to try to listen closely to find if there was anything distinguishing on each album. I think there was on Scotty’s, so even the songs I’m not crazy about, I agree with you that there were musical elements that freshened them up some or at least helped them to sound more country.

    Scotty’s growth as a singer is IMO the very best thing about the album – you nailed it when you talked about his range, reining in vocal tics, and his phrasing. He sounds more grown up but in a way that suits his age rather than reading as a young boy where big man’s boots that he doesn’t quite fit into yet.

    ‘Carolina Moon’ was actually written about 8 or 9 years ago. Kind of shocking nobody cut it, but I guess you’d need a North Carolina boy (or let Josh Turner turn it into “South Carolina Moon”). That was one where I think maybe the lyric was a little beyond what Scotty’s capable of connecting to at this time in his life, but I have no problem enjoying his respectful and loving version of the song now and wait to hear how he sings it when he has a little more “wear” in his life. I’m glad he laid claim to the song now.

    I didn’t comment on Scotty’s songwriting on the album – I think he acquitted himself fine. He’s probably at least a few albums away from developing his own voice as a songwriter, which is perfectly OK. But he at least has a solid grasp of how to craft a lyric, he has good attention to detail when he writes, and I agree he has a good sense of how to straddle contemporary and traditional forms.

    Thanks for writing up your thoughts on the album!

  • Happyhexer

    Last post, since this thread is ancient by now. I woke up with “Carolina Moon” in my head. It’s a simple song but has a classic sound. I think it will wear better, long after FGL’s “Cruise” hits the graveyard. I listen to a lot of country music, and while the songs on this CD are not super-standouts — same themes, etc. — IMHO, they definitely are a cut about the average that I hear. Just a little fresher, and I do think that the music itself is partly why. Add Scotty’s improved voice and phrasing, and there is something just a bit better here. And for me the standouts are, hands-down, the three we talked about — CM, FGSS, & FTFY. Re songwriting, it’s hard to know how much each songwriter contributes, but even so, Scotty’s songs show a good grasp of what might be popular. I think he has his hand on the pulse of country music. I guess, overall, I am impressed with how well-crafted this CD is. It suggests that everyone involved with this project — Scotty himself, his label, his producers, etc. — were focused on Scotty’s development as an artist.

  • SaSa8

    Really enjoyed reading your new comments on Scotty’s CD. Coming from your perspective as not a fan of Scotty from S10 on Idol, I liked reading where you saw growth in his vocals, his range and his confidence. As a fan since the beginning, I have seen the growth and maturity in his voice, his delivery of lyrics in both confidence and emotion, and also in his performances after attending concerts. I hope others will listen with a fresh attitude as you did and that they will see how good the CD really is for a sophomore project.
    I also think his cowrites are very good. He is only 20 and has grown so much in 2 1/2 years and will continue to do so if radio will put down their grudge/bias/ego/whatever it is, and give him more of a chance on airplay. I love his voice and delivery on Carolina Moon and Feel Good Summer Song and I think listeners will love and connect with Forget to Forget You, Can You Feel It, Feelin It and I Don’t Wanna be your Friend.

  • Lexie O’Neill

    And I think it’s interesting that FTFY is still selling, even though in small numbers without any exposure.:)