Since his win on American Idol in May, there has been plenty of buzz surrounding Scotty McCreery’s debut album. With Clear As Day coming out October 4, the spotlight is definitely on the teenager as he attempts to live up to everyone’s post-Idol expectations. He’s already said that the album will stick to his traditional leaning roots and won’t be anything “poppy.” That’s why it’s a little disappointing that the album’s second single, “The Trouble With Girls,” is a pop-leaning ballad rather than a traditional country music song.
Everything in the song’s production screams pop. The song’s introduction includes a Lady Antebellum-sounding piano medley that continues throughout the entire song while a full orchestra (much like “Hello World”) creeps in during the middle. If there’s any country steel guitar or fiddle riffs, they’re hidden within the dramatic dynamics. The beginning starts off soft and then crescendos into a loud, fuller sounding production and then descends back into the quiet dynamic.
The only real country sounding part of the song is Scotty’s vocal performance. His deep Josh Turner-like voice shines on this dull song. Just like he did on “I Love You This Big,” McCreery challenges his vocal range by traveling outside his comfortable lower range to hit the higher notes. Though everything else around the vocal is clearly pop, he manages to somehow keep his performance relatively country.
The song’s lyrics are in the same vein as the adolescent themed “I Love You this Big.” On “The Trouble with Girls,” the singer sings about the difficulty of understanding girls. “The trouble with girls is they’re a mystery, something about them puzzles me…I guess that’s the way it’s supposed to be,” sings McCreery as ponders about girls, “they hook you with one touch and you can’t break free, the trouble with girls is nobody loves trouble as much as me.” When you consider the fact that Scotty is still a teenager, the song seems like a right fit for him. Unfortunately, most country music listeners aren’t teenagers so this song kinda of alienates the older country fans.
I’ve always said that the song Scotty chooses to release after the debut single could make or break his career. If he wants to enjoy success like one of Idol’s most successful winner, Carrie Underwood, then he would have to release his own “Jesus, Take the Wheel.” Unfortunately, “The Trouble with Girls” misses that mark. It’ll be very interesting to see how the album sells come October and how this song will do on the charts, but his future in country music could be in jeopardy based on this song.