Clear as Day

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Clear as Day
Studio album by Scotty McCreery
Released October 4, 2011 (2011-10-04)
Genre Country
Length 40:49
Label Mercury Nashville, 19
Producer Mark Bright
Scotty McCreery chronology
Clear as Day
Christmas with Scotty McCreery
Singles from Clear as Day
  1. "I Love You This Big"
    Released: May 25, 2011
  2. "The Trouble with Girls"
    Released: August 30, 2011
  3. "Water Tower Town"
    Released: April 9, 2012

Clear as Day is the debut studio album by season ten American Idol winner Scotty McCreery. The album was released on October 4, 2011 in the United States.[1] Clear as Day also became the first debut album from an American Idol winner to reach number one on the US Billboard 200 since Ruben Studdard's Soulful in 2003, selling 197,000 copies in its first week.[2][3]

McCreery broke records as the first country act to debut at number one with their first studio album, and at 18 years old, the youngest man to open at the top of the chart with their debut release.[2] The album had since been certified platinum on January 6, 2012.[4]


Scotty McCreery began working on his album soon after he was crowned the winner of the tenth season of American Idol. McCreery described the album as having "some old country influences and elements" that he grew up with, such as Hank Williams, Conway Twitty and Merle Haggard, but "it also has a contemporary feel with fun up-tempo songs."[5] He said the title track, "Clear as Day", is one of his favorites on the album and he loves the message behind the song.[6] The album includes a cover of a song by Keith Urban, "Walkin’ the Country", released when he was in the band The Ranch.[7][8]


  • "Water Tower Town" was released as the third single from the album for country radio on April 9, 2012. McCreery subsequently reworked the lyrics as "Bojangles Town" for a series of TV advertisements about the Bojangles' Famous Chicken 'n Biscuits restaurant chain.[11]


Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic 2/5 stars[12]
Rolling Stone 2/5 stars[13]
USA Today 2/4 stars[14]

Upon its release, Clear as Day received generally mixed reviews from most music critics.[15] At Metacritic, which assigns a normalized rating out of 100 to reviews from mainstream critics, the album received an average score of 51, based on 8 reviews, which indicates "Mixed or average reviews".[15]

Jerry Shriver of USA Today gave the album 2 stars out of 4, saying that the album was "strictly paint-by-numbers country, with some mildly interesting colors occasionally dabbed inside the lines."[14] Stephen Thomas Erlewine of Allmusic gave it two stars out of five, saying that although some of the songs had "signs of life" to them, "the songs and production demand that all energy come from young Scotty, who amiably sleepwalks through the tunes, expecting his 'aw shucks' smile will translate onto record. That it doesn’t is not necessarily on his shoulders -- it’s better to place the blame on the machine, here run by producer Mark Bright."[12] Rolling Stone critic Caryn Ganz also gave the album two stars out of five, stating that "his debut – a ho-hum jaunt through an America full of dog-eared Bibles, rugged pickup trucks and girls 'hot as July, sweet as sunshine' – works overtime playing up his wide-eyed charm."[13] Chris Willman, writing for Reuters, gave it a mixed review, singling out "The Trouble With Girls" as having "sweetly playful lyrics" but adding that "the sappy music seems to have been written for a different set of words, as if McCreery were supposed to be singing about Jesus taking the wheel, not chick magnetism."[16]

Melinda Newman, writing for HitFix, gave it a mixed to positive review, saying, "McCreery has a voice meant for country. It’s deep, resonant, and for someone so young, he also had a good command of nuance...the sound is so clean and clear, if it were a floor, you could eat off it...there is no attempt whatsoever to make any song here palatable for a country crossover to pop — and that is a compliment."[17] Joey Guerra, writing for the Houston Chronicle, gave it a positive review, noting that "there are a surprising and refreshing number of uptempo numbers, and the entire thing clearly establishes his persona, unlike so many post-Idol debut efforts." Additionally, he said that of the two albums being released by the 2011 American Idol finalists (referring to Lauren Alaina's debut album, which would be released a week after Clear As Day), "(Clear As Day) is clearly the stronger of the two, and it's no surprise. He's a more natural performer and seems unfettered by NashVegas trappings or mainstream radio cynicism. Country music just seems to be an extension of who he is. The songs are age-appropriate, heartfelt and sincere.".[18]

Chart performance[edit]

Clear as Day debuted at number one on the Billboard 200, with first week sales of 197,000 copies. McCreery became the first country act to debut at number one with their first studio album. At 18-years old, McCreery also became the youngest man to debut at the top of the chart with their debut release breaking Omarion's record, who was 20 when O debuted at number one in 2005.[19]

As of April 2013, the album had sold 1,166,000 copies in the United States.[20]

Track listing[edit]

No. Title Writer(s) Length
1. "Out of Summertime"   Tim Nichols, Jonathan Singleton 3:42
2. "I Love You This Big"   Ester Dean, Brett James, Jay Smith, Ronnie Jackson 4:06
3. "Clear as Day"   Casey Beathard, Phil O'Donnell, Adam Wheeler 3:56
4. "The Trouble with Girls"   Phillip White, Chris Tompkins 3:49
5. "Water Tower Town"   Cole Swindell, Tammi Kidd, Lynn Hutton 2:44
6. "Walk in the Country"   Keith Urban, Vernon Rust 2:59
7. "Better than That"   Chris DeStefano, Jess Cates, Craig Wiseman 3:10
8. "Write My Number on Your Hand"   Thomas Rhett, Jeremy Stover, Jamie Paulin 2:59
9. "Dirty Dishes"   Neil Thrasher, Michael Dulaney, Tony Martin 3:36
10. "You Make That Look Good"   Rhett Akins, Lee Thomas Miller 3:01
11. "Back on the Ground"   Thrasher, Beathard, Martin 3:19
12. "That Old King James"   White, Mark Nesler 3:29
Total length:



Chart (2011-2012) Peak
Canadian Albums Chart[21] 4
New Zealand Albums Chart[22] 32
UK Country Artist Albums Chart[23] 5
US Billboard 200[21] 1
US Billboard Top Country Albums[21] 1


Year Single Peak chart positions Sales Certifications
US Country
2011 "I Love You This Big" 15 11 21
"The Trouble with Girls" 17 55
2012 "Water Tower Town" 38
Preceded by
Own the Night by Lady Antebellum
Four the Record by Miranda Lambert
Own the Night by Lady Antebellum
Top Country Albums number-one album
October 22–November 5, 2011
December 3–10, 2011
December 24, 2011
Succeeded by
Clancy's Tavern by Toby Keith
Own the Night by Lady Antebellum
Own the Night by Lady Antebellum


Region Certification
United States (RIAA)[33] Platinum


  1. ^ Dukes, Billy (08-11-2011). "Scotty McCreery and Lauren Alaina Announce Release Date and Title of New Albums". Taste of Country. Retrieved September 1, 2011. 
  2. ^ a b
  3. ^ Mansfield, Brian (2011-11-09). "Kelly Clarkson stays in top 10 for a second week". Idol Chatter (USA Today). Retrieved 2011-11-14. 
  4. ^ "American single certifications – Scotty McCreery – Clear As Day". Recording Industry Association of America.  If necessary, click Advanced, then click Format, then select Single, then click SEARCH
  5. ^ Shetler, Scott (08-12-2011). "SCOTTY MCCREERY, LAUREN ALAINA ANNOUNCE ALBUM TITLES, RELEASE DATES". PopCrush. Retrieved September 1, 2011. 
  6. ^ Hensel, Amanda (2011-08-13). "Scotty McCreery’s ‘Clear As Day’ Demo Reportedly Discovered Online". Taste of Country. Retrieved September 1, 2011. 
  7. ^ Hensel, Amanda (2011-08-27). "Scotty McCreery’s ‘Clear as Day’ Album to Include a Keith Urban Track". Taste of Country. Retrieved September 1, 2011. 
  8. ^ Nicholson, Jessica (09-01-2011). "CW Exclusive: Scotty McCreery Reveals Title of Keith Urban Song on New Album". Country Weekly. Retrieved September 1, 2011. 
  9. ^ Dukes, Billy (August 29, 2011). "Scotty McCreery’s New Single ‘The Trouble With Girls’ Debuts Tomorrow". Taste of Country. Retrieved September 8, 2011. 
  10. ^ Mansfield, Brian (2011-08-30). "Scotty McCreery debuts new single, 'The Trouble With Girls'". Idol Chatter (USA Today). Retrieved September 1, 2011. 
  11. ^
  12. ^ a b
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  14. ^ a b "Most Popular E-mail Newsletter". USA Today. October 3, 2011. 
  15. ^ a b "Clear as Day Reviews, Ratings, Credits, and More at Metacritic". Metacritic. Retrieved February 29, 2012. 
  16. ^ "Review: "Idol" Scotty McCreery aims for the mushy middle". Reuters. October 3, 2011. 
  17. ^
  18. ^
  19. ^ "'Idol's' Scotty McCreery Makes History at No. 1 on Billboard 200". Billboard. Billboard. 2011-10-12. Retrieved 2011-10-12. 
  20. ^ Mansfield, Brian (2013-04-21). "'Idol' sales: Scotty's new single, more". Idol Chatter (USA Today). Retrieved April 22, 2013. 
  21. ^ a b c "Chart listing for Clear as Day". Billboard. Prometheus Global Media. Retrieved October 13, 2011. 
  22. ^ "Scotty McCreery Discography". Recording Industry Association of New Zealand. Retrieved December 7, 2011. 
  23. ^ "Archive Chart". UK Albums Chart. The Official Charts Company. Retrieved July 23, 2012. 
  24. ^ "Scotty McCreery Makes Historic Start, Lauren Alaina Bows On Country Songs". Billboard. Prometheus Global Media. Retrieved May 30, 2011. 
  25. ^ "Chart Highlights: Kelly Clarkson Debuts on Adult Pop Songs". Billboard. Prometheus Global Media. Retrieved September 5, 2011. 
  26. ^ "'Idols' Scotty McCreery & Lauren Alaina Top Hot 100 Debuts, Adele Still No. 1". Billboard. Prometheus Global Media. Retrieved June 1, 2011. 
  27. ^ Kelly Clarkson's 'Know It All' Debuts on Hot 100, Rihanna's 'Cheers' Rises
  28. ^ "Billboard Country Update" (PDF). Retrieved 21 February 2014. 
  29. ^ "American single certifications – Scotty McCreery – I Love You This Big". Recording Industry Association of America.  If necessary, click Advanced, then click Format, then select Single, then click SEARCH
  30. ^ "Billboard Country Update" (PDF). Retrieved 21 February 2014. 
  31. ^ "American single certifications – Scotty McCreery – The Trouble with Girls". Recording Industry Association of America.  If necessary, click Advanced, then click Format, then select Single, then click SEARCH
  32. ^ Mansfield, Brian (2012-04-04). "'Don't You Wanna Stay' passes 2 million downloads". Idol Chatter. USA Today. Retrieved April 4, 2012. 
  33. ^ "American album certifications – Scotty McCreery – Clear as Day". Recording Industry Association of America.  If necessary, click Advanced, then click Format, then select Album, then click SEARCH