Clear As Day

Eighteen-year-old Scotty McCreery won the 10th season of American Idol with a surprisingly deep voice and a more formidable smirk. 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. Of the ballads, the least icky is the title track, a tear-jerker about a car accident à la "Jesus, Take the Wheel." The bright spot here is the rollicking Keith Urban co-write "Walk in the Country," where McCreery sneers, "I'm so sick of all them TV shows."

Listen to "The Trouble With Girls":

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The Winners and Losers of 'American Idol'
Video: Scotty McCreery and Lauren Alaina Answer Reader Questions

From The Archives Issue 1141: October 13, 2011