Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Album Spotlight: Scotty McCreery, ‘See You Tonight’ – ToC Critic’s Pick

By Billy Dukes

“Dynamic” could be a one-word review of Scotty McCreery‘s sophomore album, ‘See You Tonight.’ The 20-year-old’s follow-up to his post-’American Idol’ debut leans into life’s exciting edges. The songwriting and production — especially the production — are sharp, but most exciting is the new sides of this singer fans see for the very first time.

‘Buzzin” is a perfect representation of the 13 tracks on ‘See You Tonight.’ “Some like to sip, some like to chug / Some like to dip, some light one up,” McCreery sings before describing how he gets his buzz on, while a rolling banjo keeps your foot thumping throughout the nearly four-minute track.

Sure, these lyrics are pretty tame in comparison to what’s already on country radio, and in the end the song doesn’t compromise his squeaky-clean image. But it’s nice to see McCreery flirting with danger, as he does often on the new project, which hits stores Oct. 15.

‘Now’ kicks off seven straight strong songs to start the album. It’d be a great choice for a second single, because those who’ve dismissed McCreery as a caricature will be forced to take another look at him. Vocally, he introduces a new style that resurfaces on ‘Feelin’ It,’ ‘Buzzin” and ‘Can You Feel It.’

A ballad called ‘Feel Good Summer Song’ may be the best song the former ‘Idol’ winner has cut to date. McCreery doesn’t just sing about hurt on this track, he clearly reaches back to a painful memory and relives it. “Since you’re gone / I can’t hear another feel good summer song / The sunshine only lights up what is wrong / I should just give in and sing along,” he sings during a chorus that will inevitably draw favorable comparisons to Keith Urban‘s ”Til Summer Comes Around.’ It’s a strong compliment.

Tracks eight to 10 are a dip before ‘See You Tonight’ finishes strong with ‘Carolina Moon’ (an Alison Krauss collaboration that adds major credibility to the project) and ‘Something More,’ McCreery’s not-so-subtle statement about the type of music he enjoys — and more interestingly, the type he’s sick of hearing. Only ‘The Dash’ leaves one reaching forward to hit the “skip” button. The message is cliche, and the concept difficult to embrace.

Frank Rogers guides McCreery through the album, producing the whole thing and co-writing several songs. His vocal mix allows other elements to help carry the load — the burden isn’t solely on McCreery this time — but most importantly, he finds an organic, yet contemporary blend that fits the North Carolinian like a tailored suit.

‘Feelin’ It’ pushes the young singer to the edge of his comfort zone — it’s Florida Georgia Line-ish — but that’s good. A true artist learns to embrace that inner anxiety caused by doing or saying something new and unexpected.

Tracks to Remember: ‘Get Gone With You,’ ‘Feel Good Summer Song,’ ‘Buzzin’,’ ‘Carolina Moon’

Did You Know?: McCreery says the songs he helped write (‘Now,’ ‘Can You Feel It,’ ‘I Don’t Wanna Be Your Friend,’ ‘Something More’ and the title track) are the ones he’s excited for fans to hear, but also ‘Carolina Moon.’ He calls the duet with Alison Krauss the most country song on the record.



  1. From Billy Dukes, this is a pretty positive review. Funny, how each reviewer emphasizes different songs. He says the album dips on tracks 8, 9 and 10. I disagree, because " Forget To Forget You" is one of my favorites. I rarely buy a whole album from an artist, because when I have in the past I have usually been disappointed. It usually ends up that I like only the one or two songs I bought the album for. This album will be one of my all time favorites because, I literally, love them all (and that is a rare accomplishment). I will be telling everyone that this is really a must buy. Scotty has really come into his voice both literally and artistically.

    1. Same for me. My favorite is also FORGET TO FORGET YOU. All are great songs which is rare for any album. This is a 5 star album.

    2. I have 2 absolute favorites, Buzzin' and Feel Good Summer Song, oh, and Carolina Moon, but I am completely enraptured by the entire album and all the rest of the songs are next!! This album is even better than I hoped it would be, but I think Scotty is a perfectionist and took great care in choosing his songs. To me it qualifies for Album of the Year, and I am not saying that just because I love Scotty. This album does not have a skip-over song on it, ever song is a pure delight to listen to. It hits every single musical nerve I have in the best possible way. STELLAR, just STELLAR!!!!!!

    3. I also meant to say that for Billy Dukes to give such a great review and for
      ToC to choose "See You Tonight" as Critic's Pick is a huge compliment to Scotty because I feel like BD was thinking Scotty was going to be a flash-in-the-pan. I think Scotty even changed BD;s mind and eventually he will change radio's mind, too.

  2. Just checked itunes and under top albums he's now at number 12. Way to go fans!

  3. Beautiful !!! A 5-star album. We have been reading all positive and almost perfect reviews ( most gave him 5 stars ) which is a good sign.
    I like all the songs. Each song show different range in his vioice. He has really matured in voice and looks which are all good. I cant wait to watch him sing all these songs in another concert.

    I hope he headlines with a big star like Garth Brooks next year for more exposure so his album zooms up to platinum. I wonder where he charts now in Billboard. We will make his dream happen and come true. We still have Black Friday and Christmas to come and all his concerts in Nov and Dec that they can sell CD's during the shows. Way to go .... PLATINUM for SYT which deserves all the A's and 5's and all the perfect scores.

  4. All the reviews have been excellent. Unlike Billy Dukes, I really love The Dash. It has a deep meaning which maybe Billy will hear if he ever lets it play. It doesn't matter when we were born or when we die. It is what we do while we are here that matters. Come on, Billy..........I love this album. I love that deep voice, but when he moves to the upper range, it is excellent too. And who besides me simply adores that North Carolina accent.........Hain't it great. LOL

  5. Kelly Pickler husband was one of the writers on the dash,and she had a tweet out there saying for everyone to buy his C.D,and said he husband ,was a wrter of the song


  6. Last time I checked his album is at # 2 on the itunes charts,ans see you tonight single I think was at 12...The review Billy Dukes wrote about was by the critics of TOC staff.His personal spin isn't out there yet..Waitin gto see what he writes..


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