After receiving the majority of the 122 million votes cast during Tuesday night’s American Idol performance show, Scotty McCreery was named this year’s Idol winner over Lauren Alaina. Just like the previous 9 Idols have done, McCreery is releasing his first single which is titled “I Love You This Big.” Is this the most appropriate song to launch Scotty into country superstardom?
I’ve been an American Idol fanatic since its first season and I have become a fan of many of its winners including country superstar Carrie Underwood as well as the original winner, Kelly Clarkson. Those two alone have proven that winning the competition can lead to a successful career in the music industry. The only problem with winning the show is that you have to release a cheesy debut single chosen for you as the winner. Kelly had “A Moment Like This” and Carrie had to release the awful “Inside Your Heaven.” These songs didn’t prove to be launching pads for their careers, but the songs that were released right after those singles proved to be the spark their careers needed (“Miss Independent” for Clarkson and “Jesus Take the Wheel” for Underwood).
The point I’m trying to make here is that “I Love You This Big” is, in fact, one of those cheesy songs that the Idol winner has to release. That’s the reason why I’m not going to take it too seriously because I’m hoping that the single McCreery chooses to release after this song will be one far suited for his artistic style. The song tells the story about how the narrator is in experience young love with a girl. When you listen to the lyrics of the first verse, it actually isn’t a bad song. Then the last line of the verse hits and goes into the chorus and that’s when it loses me: “I might look a little silly standing with my arms stretched open wide I love you this big…” It’s all a bit cheesy and reminds me of a little kid telling his mom how much he loves her by stretching his arms as far as he can rather than a guy telling a girl how much he loves her.
I have to admit that from a production standpoint Jimmy Iovine (the season long mentor) did a great job in sticking to Scotty’s traditional country roots. That was my biggest fear for Scotty because I figured he’d get stuck releasing a pop-leaning song rather than a true country song. But this song is filled with plenty of steel guitar and includes a fantastic guitar melody that keeps the song leaning on the more traditional side of country music. It is actually one of the best productions I’ve heard on a country song in some time, which is rather surprising.
Scotty’s money maker is definitely the lower range of his voice which he shows off beautifully in the verses and during the first chorus. When the song hits the bridge he dabbles with his higher register which also sounds spectacular. His voice is perfectly suited for traditional country and I hope he continues to record more traditional leaning material (that’s if his Idol handlers allow him to go down that road).
With the last country Idol winner Carrie Underwood having such a huge career post-Idol, it’ll be interesting to see if Scotty McCreery can live up to that success. I think it’ll all depend on his song choices for not only his debut album, but for his debut single. However he’ll no doubt have some of Nashville’s best songwriters bombarding him with their best work so I think he’ll have no trouble with choosing songs. I’m going to predict that Scotty will become one of country’s leading men in the next few years.