Winning American Idol on the strength his dopey grin and cornball down-home appeal, Scotty McCreery delivers his debut, Clear as Day, just five months after taking home the big prize, the quickest turn around in Idol history. Forget whatever this portends about the health of the television show or the power of Scotty’s personality: it does suggest that McCreery is the easiest of all Idols to fit within the pre-existing machinery of the music industry. Possessing no distinct persona outside of the good guy next door, McCreery can sing any generic Nashville number, and so he does on Clear as Day, singing songs about sweet tea, pecan pies, country, football, the King James bible, mom, water towers, and, of course, love. Songs this basic need flair, either in the writing or the performance departments, to distinguish themselves, and there are moments with flashes of life, both coming courtesy of writer Rhett Akins, whose “You Make That Look Good” and “Write My Number on Your Hand” have some pep and sturdy country roots. Apart from that, the songs and production demand that all energy come from young Scotty, who amiably sleepwalks through the tunes, expecting his “aw shucks” smile will translate onto record. That it doesn’t is not necessarily on his shoulders -- it’s better to place the blame on the machine, here run by producer Mark Bright who has had hits with Rascal Flatts, and knows enough to get a piece of sellable product out while the iron is still hot. And that’s all Clear as Day is, no more, no less: professional product released quickly enough that it could still capitalize on a fire that’s beginning to smolder down to embers.
Clear as Day Review
by Stephen Thomas Erlewine