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Music Review: Scotty McCreery – American Idol Season 10

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American Idol season 10 winner Scotty McCreery was handedly the most consistent singer this past season, which made his studio tracks a treat to listen to. And for someone who doesn’t entirely care for country music, I cannot deny this kid’s seemingly effortless talent.

McCreery’s run on Idol was indeed ballad heavy, but luckily his uptempo numbers were sprinkled throughout this Idol compilation.

Scotty McCreery credit: ScottyMcCreery-Official.comOn the show, I felt like the country singer proved he could be a contemporary artist when he backed off the ballads, and rocked out on Montgomery Gentry’s “Gone.” Hands down, this is my favorite of McCreery’s studio tracks. He sounds like a well-seasoned singer, not a 17-year-old kid that is just in the beginning stages of his music career.

Unabashedly, another one of my favorite tracks off of McCreery’s collection of music from Idol is his take on Elvis’ “That’s All Right.” This song really allowed the singer to show a more personable and youthful side to himself. Plus, it’s really fun to sing along to.

On the flipside, my favorite ballads include “Can I Trust You With My Heart,” (Brenda Lee cover) “Always On My Mind,” and McCreery’s debut single, “I Love You This Big.”

What I can appreciate about McCreery’s voice is that he knows how to balance subtlety and reaching for those bigger notes. I feel like these three songs all highlight this strength, but “Can I Trust You With My Heart” truly personifies it with its quiet verses that build up into larger notes throughout the song.

With “Always On My Mind,” there’s a true sincerity to be found in the tone of McCreery’s voice. The way he sings this song boasts a vocal maturity well beyond his years.

I will admit that “I Love You This Big” was not initially a big hit with me. It just seemed kind of cheesy. Then last month I attended the American Idols Live! tour where I heard the song live and found myself singing along. And after listening to the song on repeat, I found it actually to be quite sweet. Would I have preferred his single to be more upbeat? Well, yeah, but pulling on the fans’ heartstrings doesn’t hurt either.

Even though his missteps on the show were few and far between, there’s one track on this compliation that was surprisingly a let down for me, being that the actual performance on Idol was one of my personal favorite highlights of the season. And it pains me to say that the song I speak of is McCreery’s recorded take on Carole King’s “You’ve Got A Friend.”

After McCreery won Idol, he did an interview with TV Line’s Michael Slezak about the Kristy Lee Cook-esque arrangement of “You’ve Got A Friend” that almost transpired on the Idol stage before deciding to dial it back. Unfortunately, they must have already gone into the studio and recorded that week’s track, because the original arrangement as McCreery described it in the interview is the track that was released to iTunes. 

I really wish they had found an hour to re-record that song the way McCreery performed it on the show. It’s the one track within this collection of songs that I wish sounded closer to his Idol performance.

Overall, I feel like McCreery’s American Idol Season 10 compilation contains tracks that highlight his best moments on Idol this past season.

Scotty McCreery’s American Idol Season 10 compilation is available digitally now. You can pre-order McCreery’s upcoming post-Idol debut album now at his official website.

American Idol Season 10 Tracklisting:

1. “I Love You This Big”

2. “Amazed”

3. “Young Blood”

4. “Where Were You (When The World Stopped Turning)”

5. “Gone”

6. “Always On My Mind”

7. “You’ve Got A Friend”

8. “Swingin'”

9. “I Cross My Heart”

10. “That’s All Right”

11. “Country Comfort”

12. “For Once In My Life”

13. “Can I Trust You With My Heart” 

14. “The River”

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About Kirsten Coachman

Kirsten Coachman is a writer from the San Francisco Bay Area. She has interviewed a variety of artists and creatives, including Oscar-winning actor and 30 Seconds to Mars frontman Jared Leto, BAFTA-winning actor Andrew Garfield, singer-songwriter and Matchbox Twenty frontman Rob Thomas, Andrew Dost from the Grammy Award-winning band fun., and acclaimed writer-director Derek Cianfrance.