From the moment North Carolina teenager Scotty McCreery first appeared on the American Idol stage, he set tongues a-wagging in the world of country music. His wink-wink boy-next-door charm and dynamic performances made him an instant fan favorite. Though rival Lauren Alaina seemed to be the judges' favorite, Scotty's fan base succeeded in rallying together to win him the Idol title. But despite his popularity, he has been met with some early resistance from some country radio programmers who have taken a strong dislike to him. Thus, in launching Scotty's country music career, his label is playing it safe by releasing the most generic, easily-digestible love song as his first single.
First, let's get this out of the way: I like Scotty McCreery. I like his deep-throated, Josh Turner-esque vocals. I like his neotraditional-leaning musical style. Heck, I even voted for him! But now that I've said what I do like, I have to say that I do not like this song. Not even a little bit.
True, the laid-back steel guitar-laced arrangement makes it a little more palatable, but the unabashed cheesiness of the title hook "I Love You This Big" instantly leaves a bad taste in the mouth. Title hook aside, the verses are consistently mediocre in content. From "The way my heart starts pounding when I look into your eyes..." to "You do something to me deep down in my heart," awkward metaphors and cliche phrasing are in abundance. Even Scotty's vocal delivery begs for an added level of expressiveness, lacking the charisma that often came across from his Idol performances.
Scotty has a good voice. We've seen that repeatedly demonstrated over the course of the season. But "I Love You This Big" is just so, so boring. Bottom line: Scotty deserves a better song than this.
SCOTTY'S SCORE: 5
(Scores are given on a scale of 1 to 10)
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