Scotty McCreery – Same Truck (Deluxe)

Triple Tigers Records

Release Date: November 18th 2022

Reviewed by: Joshua Andre

Scotty McCreery– Same Truck (Deluxe) (Amazon mp3/iTunes)

Track Listing:

  1. Same Truck
  2. You Time
  3. It Matters To Her
  4. Damn Strait
  5. It’ll Grow On Ya
  6. The Waiter
  7. Why You Gotta Be Like That
  8. Home
  9. Carolina To Me
  10. Small Town Girl
  11. That Kind Of Fire
  12. How Ya Doin’ Up There
  13. Falling For A Stranger
  14. Here And Ready
  15. Nothin’ Right
  16. On It
  17. Live A Little
  18. Small Town Story

I think I’ve mentioned this fact several times on this website. Probably more times than I can count, and probably more times than you want to hear. But since branching out in 2019 to many different types of music beyond the genres of CCM and worship; I’ve been inspired and blessed to hear country music– the deep, introspective, honest, personal, emotional and reflective melodies, that hit my soul hard to the core. Artists like Carrie Underwood, Maddie & Tae, Lady A, Rascal Flatts, Hunter Hayes, Lauren Alaina, Martina McBride, Cassadee Pope, Keith Urban, Blake Shelton, Faith Hill, Shania Twain, Thomas Rhett, Maren Morris, Lindsay Ell, Tenille Arts, Ingrid Andress, Gabby Barrett, Chris Stapleton, Carly Pearce, Kelsea Ballerini, and even Taylor Swift (and many, many, more!); have all inspired and blessed me greatly with their powerful, confronting and challenging melodies. Even though I’m not American, it is these artists above who have helped place this genre in a special place in my heart. Yet Life Rolls On by Florida Georgia Line (which released in early 2021, and was ironically their last album as a duo!) was, for all intents and purposes, an album that made me lose my faith in country music a little bit. Not a lot, but just a little bit. I reviewed the album here, but the gist of my assessment of one of the most blandest country albums I’ve ever heard (still is!); was that it was honestly a train-wreck. I can’t sugar-coat this review, and it made me think that maybe the country genre was more like another cog in the machine of mass-produced Nashville inspired melodies; rather than the deep-thinking, moving, and thought-provoking genre I initially believed it to be.

This fact is why Scotty McCreery’s latest album Same Truck (release in 2021), with an on-the-surface similar vibe and atmosphere to Life Rolls On, was an album that I didn’t have high hopes for. I was intrigued though- simply because the genre was country, and that of late I’ve never been steered that wrong by the genre before; however, I was still apprehensive. Yet a few listens to this poppy and honest album in 2021; reveal a much more dynamic and musically diverse album than I originally realised. Scotty’s new album doesn’t reinvent the wheel of country music- but it’s miles better than anything from Florida Georgia Line. And that’s definitely a good thing. I reviewed the album here. But here we are in 2023- and this time Scotty has re-released his album with 6 brand new tracks.

I mentioned this last year- and I think I’ll say it again. I still don’t think that many people know who Scotty McCreery is, aside from his win in the 7th season of American Idol in 2011. His discography of 5 albums (inclusive of a Christmas album!) haven’t exactly wowed the world to the extent that he’s a big, big star. Nonetheless, Same Truck is earnest, hopeful, honest, and vulnerable. And maybe, just maybe, there’s enough here for all of us to stand still, focus and take notice of this still up-and-coming country star in the making. If you want to read more about the already-released 12 tracks, read my review here. But for those who want to cliff-notes edition, read on.

The title track opens proceedings, and straight away, Scotty delivers lyrically. Presenting to us an uplifter and an encourager, Scotty relays that we’re all humans, and are all together in this life. It’s a ‘you’re not alone and we can all band together’ kind of blanket-inspirational melody; and though there’s the sense of cliché-ness and a formulaic nature about this song specifically… there’s still something about it that makes me smile, tap my toes, and agree with the lyrical sentiments. For it is true that we all can make it through this life with friends and family- and sometimes we do need to know that we’re not alone so that we can rise above adversities and hardship. “You Time”, a catchy pop/country melody, speaks about Scotty’s desire to be close to his wife and to make some quality memories with her, despite living life as a travelling and touring musician and being on the road for extended periods of time; while the moving and powerful “It Matters To Her” is a song that speaks about the fact that every little minute thing that a husband does for is wife to show her that’s he is loved, special and beautiful, in fact does matter to her, despite what men may believe. It’s a song that is a semi-wake-up call to the men in that we all need to treat our wives with respect, dignity, and love; while the mid-tempo ballad “Damn Strait” is a homage and tribute to country legend George Strait (and probably a satirical piece as well!), with the persona letting George know that he can’t listen to his songs anymore, because they all remind him of his ex and they’re all so sad now.

It’s a melody that speaks about how we all place value on the song and what it makes us feel- and this melody inspires us to see the worth in a song and to love a song even though it makes us sad- because at least it made us feel something.

To me, one of the most emotional songs on the album is “The Waiter”. Sung from the point of view of a waiter, the track speaks about a widower who goes to the same restaurant every Friday night and orders for himself and his dead wife. It’s a song that speaks about the true meaning of devotion and love, and that unconditional love towards someone stretches beyond death and anything else we can comprehend. Some may say that the man in the song is crazy or senile or has dementia; but I reckon a song like this, which is similar in theme to Thomas Rhett’s “Remember You Young”, puts everything in perspective, and reinforces the very need for people to stay faithful to their spouse and to work out any differences they may have. After all- a long-lasting marriage is a marriage that is sure to be extremely enjoyable and satisfying. The melancholy but reflective and contemplative ballad “Home”, another standout track, speaks about maturity and growing up to be an adult. As Scotty relays that he used to hate his home, he now speaks about having a realisation that the home isn’t so bad. With Scotty singing out that he has had a newfound appreciation and a love for his home now that his wife is in it; we are presented with the concept that being at home is a state of being, and should be where you are with the people you love. Home isn’t a place, but it’s the people that make the home. “Carolina To Me”, probably the most spiritual song on the album, speaks about Scotty’s faith and his love for Jesus, but the track also doubles up as a celebration to his home state of North Carolina; while Same Truck ends with the heartfelt and poignant “How Ya Doin’ Up There”. A personal, honest prayer to Jesus, Scotty ends the album talking to God and to just check in with Him (like how you do with a mate!). And as Scotty eloquently relays that he knows that God is in control of everything; Scotty still prays to God for reassurance and for confirmation that everything will be ok. Similar in theme to Mickey Guyton’s “Heaven Down Here”, we are presented with one of the most thought-provoking songs of the last few years.

And now that I’ve focused on the highlights of the album, let’s nit-pick the 6 brand new songs, shall we? Releasing deluxe editions or special edition albums of highly rated and well-received albums (or of any album actually!) … well, doing that right is a feat in and of itself. I’m of the firm belief that if you’re an artist, you either unveil a deluxe edition album the same day as the standard edition, with 3-4 new tracks; or if you release a deluxe edition 1-2 years later, then you have around 8-9 or 10 extra tracks tops. For Scotty’s album though, it’s only 6 tracks (is that enough to warrant an extended release many months later?), and they’re all new songs. That’s fine, but I expected maybe an acoustic track or a remix track or maybe a re-recording with a guest artist. While these grievances are only minor, the new songs fortunately are solid, although a few melodies fall flat. The sweet and thought-provoking “Falling For A Stranger” speaks about how Scotty loves his wife immensely, and that he reckons he’ll still love her regardless of any decision they could have made- specifically if they hadn’t met when they did and had met for the first time today. This song highlights the controversial hot topic of predestination vs free will, but the song speaks about the all-encompassing love that one has for another, and the fact that that love can extend infinite choices. Sadly, the snoozefest “Here And Ready” is a total bore and a melody that I quite frankly skipped over; while “Nothin’ Right” is equally puzzling and totally not worth the wait- it’s a party song that doesn’t have any lyrical substance. “On It” frustrates me as well, as the pop/country melody could’ve been so much more, but simply is a carbon copy of the previous song in terms of theme and lyrical nature, while “Live A Little” highlights Scotty’s love for the great outdoors and his earnestness to be by his wife’s side and enjoying life in the foreseeable future. The deluxe edition of Same Truck ends with the powerful and compelling melody “Small Town Story”, where Scotty recounts how his life entirely changed for the better when he met his now-wife.

On the whole, Scotty McCreery’s album Same Truck has solidified my position that country music is my most favourite music genre after CCM. The deluxe edition, though a mixed bag, still reminds me of my love for country music as well; and as we hear love songs to his wife, moving, heartfelt ballads like “The Waiter”, “Home”, “How Ya Doin’ Up There”, “Falling For A Stranger” and “Small Town Story”; Same Truck is an album that is sure to bring us comfort, healing and a healthy discussion about love, life, God, death, the afterlife and everything else in-between. This album isn’t for the faint of hearted, and it isn’t for just background music. So let me just say… listen to Scotty’s latest, and be blessed by one of the most underrated artists I’ve heard recently. Same Truck and the deluxe version do not redefine country music. It is formulaic, but the album is the best example of formulaic country music at its brilliant best. Well done Scotty for a well thought out album overall. I can’t wait to hear what God has in store for you in the coming weeks and months and years!

5 songs to listen to: The Waiter, Home, How Ya Doin’ Up There, Falling For A Stranger, Small Town Story

Score: 4.5/5

RIYL: Luke Bryan, Dan + Shay, Gabby Barrett, Miranda Lambert, Maren Morris, Chris Stapleton

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