Shoulda Been a Hit: Scotty McCreery’s “Water Tower Town” [Video]
If you know me, you will likely be surprised by this. My close friends know the extent to which I cringed and coiled in horror when Scotty McCreery won the 10th season of American Idol. To say that I was not a fan is being polite. Trust me. I was NO fan. But, after seeing Scotty’s hilarious Harlem Shake video this week I was reminded of his song “Water Tower Town.” Yes! Even this former “hater” actually liked a song of his. And I really believe . . . it SHOULDA been a hit!
I realize that Scotty, during his run to the Idol title, won the hearts of America, specifically the show’s voting legions of cougars and teenage girls. But I, personally, just didn’t get it. Never did and I’m not sure I do yet. In fact, I’ll be honest. When he was on Idol, Scotty McCreery just gave me the creeps. There were times, with those weird mannerisms, facial expressions and the bizarre way he held the microphone, that I literally had to push fast forward on the DVR.
And (here comes more brutal honesty) I really didn’t get his first two singles, “I Love You This Big” and “The Trouble with Girls.” While both those songs sold a crap-ton of copies and were certified “gold,” they just weren’t big chart hits. “I Love You This Big” peaked at #15 on the Billboard Country Chart. Respectable, but not a smash. “The Trouble with Girls” peaked out at #17. Again, respectable, but not a smash.
The track record of these songs was proving what I thought was going to be the case with his career. I had a hunch that Scotty won American Idol based on the undeniable voting will of teenage girls who fell for the Josh Turner-singing, farm boy, high school baseball star. I knew they would buy songs like “I Love You This Big” and “The Trouble with Girls,” but I didn’t expect adults to actually listen to them on the radio. And, they didn’t all that much.
However, and yes I am about to finally same something nice, I thought Scotty was ready to turn the corner when he released “Water Tower Town.” I really believed this was the single that was going to get him some cred with the older country fan base. Up tempo. Rural lyrics. Great hook. And less than a 3 minute run time. “Water Tower Town” was radio-friendly, easy on the ears, upbeat and fun . . . and, gosh darnit, sung without all those McCreery mannerisms that had alienated many of us who refused to drink the Idol Kool-Aid when he won.
Check this out and you’ll see what I mean!
For me, “Water Tower Town” had all the makings of Scotty’s first big hit. Only . . . it didn’t hit. At all. It stalled at #38 and I still am not totally sure why. But my hunch is this.
Scotty McCreery’s first two songs were tailor-made and recorded for the girls who propelled him to Idol victory. The only problem with that fan base is that they can forget about you as easily and as quickly as they decide you’re the next big thing. And I am afraid that’s what has happened to some of Scotty’s core audience. They have just simply moved on and grown up.
But “Water Tower Town” COULD have made him more appealing to the country faithful that hadn’t yet taken him seriously as an artist. And, believe me, I was rowing that boat vigorously. But I appreciated Scotty’s attempt and I actually really like this song. If this song had taken like it was supposed to Scotty could have a new group of fans to replace the ones that loved him and left him fast (sorry about the Prince “Little Red Corvette” reference). If you ask me . . . “Water Tower Town” SHOULDA been a hit!