Artist: Scotty McCreery  

Title: Clear as Day  

Label: Mercury/19/Interscope  

Scotty McCreery's deep bass voice and his fresh face endeared himself to the American public who crowned him with the title of American Idol at the tender age of 17. While not every winner of the TV talent contest have been able to transfer their success into the record industry McCreery's debut album topped the Billboard 200 chart its first week, a feat no other singer can claim with their first recording.  

Clear as Day is obviously a country album, full of twang, songs that tell stories, and rhythms that make your feet want to head out to line dance. Pure country music folks might think the album is too full of pop and happiness to be an unadulterated country album but it doesn't actually include songs that will gain airplay on Top 40 stations (though a few of them could be used as dedications on Delilah's radio show).  

Many country song writers jumped on the young Idol's bandwagon to be a part of this project. Keith Urban suggested that Scotty do a cover of his song "Walk in the Country," which easily could have been the title of the album.  

While the project allows the young artist to stretch his lungs and hit the high notes as well as the bass ones, it feels a bit thrown together - little bit of this, little bit of that - and it doesn't flow together in one cohesive theme. It will take time for this artist and his music to grow up. He is still naïve in the dating department - he sings of "The Trouble with Girls" and "Baby Write my Number on Your Hand." They are cute, but not very serious about love.  

When he sings "Water Tower Town" and "Back on the Ground" you can picture Scotty back at home in Garner, North Carolina. But this isn't a man coming home from a war, college,  or even a failed relationship; this is a young man fresh off a concert tour that has crowned him an idol. He is back at home because he is still a teenager and hasn't really headed out on his own yet.  

Those looking for Scotty to represent his faith with his music won't be disappointed. He sings "Dirty Dishes" a song about a mother's heartfelt prayer at suppertime for the gratitude she acknowledges in her life. The album closes with "The Old King James," a story about a family Bible passed down through three generations.  

Just as we heard Scotty sing the first time on American Idol and recognized that he so much potential, the same rings true with his venture into the record industry. We like what we hear, but what we really look forward to is watching McCreery grow up to be a country star. He is well on his way.  

*This review first published 10/19/2011

**Listen to this album on Spotify