Album Review: Scotty McCreery’s ‘Seasons Change’
For Scotty McCreery, Seasons Change is just as much a collection of memories as it is an album of music. Fans will recognize the artist they admired when he was crowned the victor on American Idol, but notice a new sense of maturity on the project. A clear reflection of where he’s at in life, the album turns themes of love, humility and steadfastness into honest songs about the ebbs and flows of life.
Nostalgia and reflection dominate over the course of 11 songs, with McCreery letting us know from the start it’s the dawn of a new day on the title track, proclaiming one “can’t keep a man down when he’s on his way up” as he powers through the rain into a new season of life. From there he takes us on a journey to the places, and most importantly the people, that helped shape his life, particularly on “Boys From Back Home,” “Home in My Mind” and the poignant lead single “Five More Minutes,” all of which have him reminiscing about the people and experiences that make his memories of North Carolina home.
Perhaps no song is more personal than “This Is It” as the singer takes us with him during the life-changing moment Gabi Dugal became his fiancée. McCreery paints a picturesque view of the mountain where he proposed, climbing 4,000 feet high to the indescribable view where “Carolina meets the sky,” from there building the path to the rest of his life, all laid out in song. It’s a tender moment and a story only McCreery could tell, making for an honest reflection fans are sure to gravitate to. And he’s just as romantic on “Still,” not holding back as he tells the woman he loves just how she makes him feel. “Every day changes but it doesn’t change, the way you make me smile when you say my name…like it did back when, when we were just beginning, and girl it always will, I want you, I need you, still,” he croons.
McCreery doesn’t throw any curve balls on Seasons Change, mainly ignoring the common trends on current country radio to deliver an authentic album that sticks to his roots and relies on his own blend of traditional country. For McCreery, the growth isn’t on the production side of the album (though he does incorporate horns on “Barefootin’”), it’s in the lyrics, laying forth the future he hopes for himself while using descriptive details to really take the listener inside his roots and the people that knew him long before his days of stardom.
Seasons Change isn’t a stark difference from his past projects, and it doesn’t have to be, acting more like an extension of what made fans love him in the first place. It exudes the humble qualities that made McCreery a star while showing off his growth throughout his young adult life – just with a little more heart and maturity.