Without a doubt there is growth and this is McCreery’s best album but it leaves much to be desired…5/10
Best Songs: Still, Five More Minutes, Home in My Mind
Worst Songs: Wrong Again, Move it on Out, Barefootin’
Five years ago Scotty McCreery released his sophmore album See You Tonight at age 20. McCreery had auditioned for American Idol at the ripe age of 16 and would go on to win defeating fellow pop country artist Lauren Alaina. His first two albums were in my opinion rather juvenile with occasional moments of quality such as “Feel Good Summer Song” and “Forget to Forget You.” However, McCreery was only 20 years old and there would naturally be some growing pains and that could be forgiven. After all, McCreery has always had a great country voice and seemed to take very seriously and respect the traditions of country music.
The lead single to McCreery’s expected third album “Southern Belle” was dreadful and he knew that when it was released. McCreery was quoted in an interview with Taste of Country saying “This is probably as far left as we’ll go.” The music video was even worse than the song that included obvious sexual references like “baby swing low, it’s making me high.” After that single flopped on the radio, McCreery was let go by his label Mercury Nashville and it appeared that his career may already be over.
Following his departure from Mercury, McCreery wrote and released a song called “Five More Minutes.” It was the first song to ever chart on the Country Mediabase chart without the backing of a record label. It wasn’t the greatest or most unique song ever recorded but it was a really good contemporary country song and one of the best songs you will hear on country radio today. McCreery would go on to sign with Triple Tigers who would help get the song to become McCreery’s first number one single. It was a victory for McCreery and his fan base nearly five years after his last album was released.
The hope for me was that “Five More Minutes” would be a good song on an album with better songs and that McCreery would “swing” more traditional. That is unfortunately not the case.
There are no real traditional moments on this entire album. Seasons Change is a pop country album from start to finish. That’s not to say that it’s a bad album or that there aren’t good songs on the album but, it’s important to understand what this album is going into it. Is there some growth and stronger songwriting? Absolutely, but there’s also plenty of generic and at times bad songwriting.
The album starts off with the title track which sets a good tone for the album. It was the first song McCreery wrote for the new album. This song and album in general are about McCreery growing up and life changing. So much has changed for McCreery since he auditioned for American Idol at the age of 16. So much has changed since McCreery released his last album nearly five years ago. The song has a great energy and describes these changes and how far he has come.
The album really shines with the more personal songs to McCreery like the new single “This Is It” that talks about how McCreery proposed to his fiance and the final track on the album “Home in my Mind” which describes his desire to get back home despite being constantly on the road.
There is a period on the album that is pretty bad and downright generic. The part I am talking about is from “In Between” to “Barefootin” with the exception of “This Is It.” The song “Barefootin” in particular is very bad. The only saving grace with this song is the horns which actually sound pretty good.
“In Between” is your typical generic song about who he is. It’s the type of song you would typically hear as the first track of a debut album but this one is buried in the middle.
The two final tracks on the album are the strongest tracks outside of the singles. “Still” describes the love that he still feels for someone who he has been in love with for a long time. The days change and they have changed but the feelings that he has for her have not.
This is one of the most disappointing albums that I will hear all year. Not because it’s one of the worst, far from it. But because I see what Scotty McCreery is capable of. He has a special country voice and is capable of being one of the leaders in the pursuit of repairing the mainstream. There are songs to like on this album but I doubt by the end of the year I will be listening to anything here. Without a doubt there is growth and this is McCreery’s best album but it leaves much to be desired. It is important to recognize that he is only 24 years old but, at some point we will just have to throw our hands up in the air and say he is what he is.