by Ryan Cox ’18
American Idol winner Scotty McCreery has had a busy five years since releasing his last studio album, See You Tonight. While still studying at North Carolina State University, he headlined a tour with The Voice alumna Danielle Bradbery and opened for Rascal Flatts. He published a book, and got engaged to his long-time girlfriend. Now, the 24-year-old Garner, North Carolina native has been back in the studio working on his fourth studio album, Seasons Change.
“In the last five years, I have grown from a teenager to a man, moved out on my own, lost my grandfather, proposed to the love of my life, and learned more about myself than I could have ever imagined,” McCreery told Billboard. Regarding the 11 songs on the album, he said, “I feel like I’m having a conversation with everyone that listens. It’s that personal.”
Since announcing Seasons Change, McCreery has slowly released a handful of songs from the record, starting last May with “Five More Minutes.” McCreery has since released three other songs from the record: “Wherever You Are,” “In Between,” and the most recent release, “Home in my Mind.” This is McCreery’s first album produced on Triple Tigers Records, instead of American Idol’s Interscope/19 label.
“Five More Minutes” has set up the deeply personal, reflective tone for the album. A particular kind of honesty and poignancy is one of the hallmarks of country music. “Five More Minutes” is a reminder of the “three chords and the truth” philosophy that grounds authentic country music. Country legend Randy Travis even called the song “storytelling and country music at its best.” As of Sunday, February 25, “Five More Minutes” has become McCreery’s first number one single on Billboard Country Airplay Charts.
“Wherever You Are” and “In Between” help to establish a more mature version of the style that McCreery has developed since Idol. “Wherever You Are” especially highlights the mix of modern, rock-influenced country and McCreery’s old-school, Josh Turner-style baritone. It seems to push McCreery’s vocal range and could easily become a song of the summer.
“Home in my Mind,” the most recent release, strikes a chord especially among college-aged fans and can relate to college students world wide. It seems to be the most genuine song of the three more recent releases and could easily become a successful single down the road.
What could be missing from the album thus far is the bass vocals that attracted audiences to McCreery back in 2011 during his Idol audition. This set him apart from his competition on the show and continues to set him apart from his competition in Nashville. Ever since country began to fuse with pop music, there is a lack of these country baritones that makes the genre unique; featuring his lower register could certainly help drive McCreery to the top of the charts.
It is clear that McCreery has developed a style that works for him and the raw sound that is presented in these four songs . With these sounds, fans are able to connect toe Season Change on a personal level.
The album will be release on March 16, both as a digital download and physical copy.