Scotty McCreery Shares Details About All ‘Clear as Day’ Songs
'American Idol' winner Scotty McCreery releases his debut album, 'Clear as Day,' in two weeks, marking the end of one chapter in the 17-year-old's life and the beginning of another. Before he settles back into domestic life in Garner, N.C. the high school senior will be everywhere telling the stories behind each of the album's 12 songs, and he's starting to tell those stories now.
“I’m not trying to fake [it] at all on this album,” McCreery told Taste of Country. “I’ve heard people say, ‘Oh, he’s 17. He hasn’t lived life. He can’t sing country music!’ I’m not trying to fake being old. I’ve never pretended to be somebody I’m not."
"I’m 17, and that’s me," he continued. "This album’s gonna relate to that, and hopefully people like it. I’m really proud of what we’ve accomplished these last couple months."
There's plenty of small-town life buried deep into the fabric of McCreery's picks for his first album. There's also a whole lot of family and a touch of God to remind fans that no matter how big his star becomes, he still knows which one to always follow.
1. 'Out Of Summertime' (Jonathan Singleton and Tim Nichols)
"'Out Of Summertime' was one of the three potential singles that I heard when I was still on 'American Idol' in the top three. It's a really fun song. It's about a summertime fair and it's a teenage love kind of thing. They could have had something, but they ran out of summertime. It's almost like the movie 'Grease,' with Danny and Sandy."
2. 'I Love You This Big' (Ronnie Jackson, Brett James, Ester Dean and Jay Smith)
"'I Love You This Big' was another one of the singles we heard on 'American Idol,' and it became my first Top 15 country single. It has a great feel to it. It was perfect for the 'American Idol' moment onstage because it could relate to my family or it could relate to my fans out there who got me through the whole 'American Idol' journey. We thought it would do pretty good at country radio, too, and we'd give it a shot, and it did just that. It will always be special to me because it's my first song. Once I started singing it in front of crowds, it took on a new life. I would look up and their arms would be spread open wide when I'd sing 'I Love You This Big.' It was just a cool thing to see. It always puts a grin on my face when I look out there and see their arms open wide and see a husband and wife looking at each other with their arms opened wide."
3. 'Clear as Day' (Phil O'Donnell, Casey Beathard and Adam Wheeler)
"This one is one of my favorites on the album. It's got a great feel to it and a great message too. It's relatable for me, with the after-football game kind of thing in the parking lot, and then the after-football-game parties at Cook Out Restaurant. We sit on the back of the trucks. Of course, the song takes a twist at the end and gets really serious, talking about how the girl never made it home because of the fog and pouring rain. 'Clear as Day' felt like the perfect title for the album. It's not too fancy, but it got the point across. 'Scotty McCreery: Clear as Day.' I like the sound of it, and I thought it fit perfectly with what we were trying to accomplish with the album."
4. 'The Trouble With Girls' (Phillip White and Chris Tompkins)
"I told my mom, 'If you were at home doing dishes, this is the kind of song that makes you stop what you are doing and listen to it.' It has a haunting melody. After I listened to the demo once, I found myself singing it in the room and going out to dinner and humming it to myself there. When you hear that kind of song and you can't help but keep singing it, you know you've got a good one. On Twitter, when I said my new single coming out tomorrow is 'The Trouble With Girls,' all the girls were like, 'What do you mean, the trouble with girls? We aren't trouble.' But when you hear it, it's really a sweet song that talks about all of the great things about girls, like how pretty they are and how they have wonderful smiles. It's talks about things girls like to hear. I told my sister the song title, and she said, 'The trouble with girls?' I said, 'Just listen to it.' When the song finished, she said how sweet it was and how perfect a song it was for me to sing. She said girls will relate to it because they would love to have guys say some of that stuff to them."
5. 'Water Tower Town' (Cole Swindell, Lynn Hutton and Tammi Kidd)
"'Water Tower Town' is my Garner song on the album, my hometown song. It reminds me of Garner, which has a big water tower right across from the baseball fields where I grew up playing ball. It has a lot of elements in there that remind me of Garner. The first lyric in the chorus is, 'Friday night football is king,' and that is true in Garner. Everybody stops what they're doing in Garner to go to the game. It's been tough on me missing the games being out here on the road, but I will be back for a few. The song says, 'Sweet tea goes good with anything,' and that is is all we drink back home. All of the lyrics really relate to my hometown."
6. 'Walk In The Country' (Vernon Rust and Keith Urban)
"This is the song that Keith Urban pitched my way. It was on his first album when he was in a band called the Ranch. It was their big single and did pretty well for them. He thought it would be really cool for me to cut it, and when I heard it, it was a lock. It has a cool message and feel. It's just a cool song. I can picture myself rocking out to in the car driving somewhere."
7. 'Better Than That' (Chris Destefano, Jess Cates and Craig Wiseman)
"It's a fun one, a nice uptempo with a dancing feel. It has a cool little beat. It talks about all the great things that happen in life -- first kiss, first crush, first time I saw the ocean -- and your love is better than that. It's a cool way of saying I love you and not just in a clichéd way."
8. 'Write My Number On Your Hand' (Jeremy Stover, Jamie Paulin and Thomas Rhett Akins)
"This was another fun one. This one has a little Hawaiian feel to it, with a ukulele. When I hear this song, I have a bunch of pictures going through my mind, like jumping in the lake, stuff I grew up doing. The Hawaiian feel and fun nature is the reason I cut it. It's about a girl and a guy and they are at the lake. They are about to leave and he says, 'Write my number on your hand so I can call you up.' At the end, it takes a twist. She says,' If you want to see me, write my number on your hand.' It has all of the country things in it, like farmer's tans and Coca-Cola."
9. 'Dirty Dishes' (Michael Dulaney, Neil Thrasher and Tony Martin)
"This passed the mama crying test. We would get a bunch of songs in and we would all sit down and listen to them as a family. If Mama heard it and she started crying, I would tell Universal, 'It passed the mama crying test so it must be a good one.' It's about a family sitting down to dinner and mama sits down and she prays and thanks the Lord for things in life that would normally annoy somebody, like slamming doors, dirty dishes and loud kids. But it shows that you should be grateful in life and not take things for granted. It says slamming doors means you live in a warm and loving home and noisy kids just mean they are happy kids. It's a cool and different way of looking at life and reminds you not to take life for granted and to be thankful for things that might otherwise bother you."
10. 'You Make That Look Good' (Rhett Akins and Lee Thomas Miller)
"This was the rocking song we have on the album. This was another fun one for me. It's just about a country boy. It talks about how I might have a dirty truck, but when you are sitting there beside me, you make it look good. At the end it says, I never thought of getting settled down and having a serious relationship, but you make that look good. It talks about some things in life that had never looked too good to this dude, but now that he is with her, she makes them look good and makes him want to do them."
11. 'Back on the Ground' (Neil Thrasher, Casey Beathard and Tony Martin)
"This one speaks to me as far as staying grounded. When I was younger, everybody said, 'I can't wait to get out of my hometown and go to college 500 miles away so I don't have to see anybody again.' It talks about getting back home and chatting with Mama and how you would do anything to get back home. It's a fun song about staying grounded and not forgetting where you came from, and no matter where you go, it all comes back around. I always loved my hometown, but of course, everybody grows up saying they can't wait to get out of there and go experience life outside of the little bubble they've been in. Now that I have been away for so long and seen what life is like out here, I can't wait to get back and see family and friends that I have missed for so long. What I would give to take another English test in class! Like the song says, I can't wait to get my feet back on the ground in Garner, N.C."
12. 'That Old King James' (Phillip White and Mark Nesler)
"This was another song that passed the mama crying test. It's cool for me because it reminds me of my both of my granddaddies. They both fought in the war. It talks about a Bible being passed down from generations upon generations, from the granddaddy to the mom and then the mom to the kids. It means a lot to me. It reminded me of my family and how I grew up in church and reading the old King James Bible. It speaks wonders about what that book can do for somebody and how important it is to pass it down from generation to generation."