‘American Idol’ Winners Laine Hardy, Scotty McCreery Both Drop Country Albums on the Same Day

Samantha Agate
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Laine Hardy and Scotty McCreeryTim Mosenfelder/Getty Images, Lisa Lake/Getty Images

American Idol winners Laine Hardy and Scotty McCreery both dropped new albums on Sept.17. There are so many similarities between these country crooners’ tracks. It might not come as a huge surprise. Their journey’s into the spotlight started off exactly the same.

Scotty won Season 10 of American Idol in 2011. His deep, rich voice was a hit with all of the judges and fans of the show. He has put out four albums in addition to his latest, Same Truck. The North Carolina native has gone on four headlining tours since his time on the show. He’s definitely one of the bigger country stars to make a name for himself during the show’s run on Fox.

Laine is just getting his footing in the music world after winning Season 17 of American Idol in 2019. Through the pandemic, Laine performed a virtual tour to gear up for his album release. His humble personality and authentic sound have led him to grow quite a large following. How does his new album stack up against Scotty’s?

‘Here’s to Anyone’ is Laine Hardy’s Love Letter to Louisiana

Laine’s debut album, Here’s to Anyone, was released under Buena Vista Records and 19 Recordings. It’s a love letter to living in Louisiana. “Here’s to Anyone” is also the name of one of the tracks. It’s basically a handbook about being a country boy. This song has potential but is not going to be the top seller on the album.

“For a Girl” is one of the highlights of Here’s to Us. It sounds like a mixture of country and pop. It does not have the same impact as “Memorize You,” but it’s still very catchy. “Memorize You” has gotten by far the most promotion and buzz out of any of the songs on Laine’s and Scotty’s albums combined. “Authentic” is a close second.

A song that should be getting more buzz is “Let There Be Country.” This is the country anthem that could have an arena of people dancing. I can envision this song performed at country award shows or used as the soundtrack to videos on TikTok. A lot of country lovers out there will probably relate to this song. The hook is simple, memorable, and sounds like something Luke Bryan would sing.

“Other LA” is funky like some of his earlier American Idol performances. I think this is one of the more forgettable songs on the album. The sentiment behind the song is awesome because Laine is talking about going from Louisiana to Los Angeles and back again. “Ground I Grew Up On” has that same hometown feel.

“Tiny Town” is also dedicated to being a small-town boy and missing it after finding success. The song talks about simple pleasures in life like going fishing and watching football. “California Won’t” and “One of Those” do sound similar and I did hit the skip button during both of them.

Scotty McCreery’s ‘Same Truck’ Album is Full of Ballads

Same Truck was released under Triple Tigers and Warner Chappell Music. He was dropped by Universal Records in 2015 while Laine is still working with American Idol’s label. This might be part of the reason why Scotty’s album is showing off a whole new side of him.

If I didn’t know any better, the way “Why You Gotta Be Like That” starts off, I would think it is a pop song. This is a traditional love song. He rocks the lower register of his voice in this song. The lyrics are very simple, but country music is all about three chords and the truth. All of the tracks on Same Truck deliver just that.

“Small Town Girl” is a danceable love song about his wife, Gabi. You might want to add this one to your country playlist. It’s more upbeat and fun. “Same Truck” is also about love…for a truck. The sentiment behind the song is obviously that nothing compares to being out in the country in your truck.

“You Time” was released months before the album. This song is the banger of the album and the one I found myself bobbing my head to. “That Kind of Fire” has great storytelling. I think Scotty’s vocals shine the most in this song. We see him using his range, belting out the lyrics, and holding notes for a long time. On the other side of things, “It Matters To Her” does not measure up. It’s the track you might want to skip.

“Damn Strait” is a slower ballad compared to some of the other upbeat songs. Laine’s album is kind of missing one of these. Scotty’s album has a few of them. “Carolina To Me” is a tribute to North Carolina and he compares it to heaven. It’s a very moving, honest take. “The Waiter,” “It’ll Grow on Ya,” “Home,” and “How Ya Doin’ Up There,” are all slower songs.

Both Singers Have Big Fall Plans

I was a little worried that Laine’s album would not measure up to Scotty’s. I was ready to blame American Idol and the label for not being more calculated with the album release. But truthfully, Laine’s album has the more memorable songs. Scotty definitely has the better vocals. Both excel at storytelling and painting pictures of their hometowns.

Laine has proven that he can compete with the top dogs. He is currently on the Monster Energy Outbreak Tour. More dates were added to keep him out on the road until the end of November. He just made his Grand Ole Opry debut and shared songs from Here’s to Us at Blake Shelton’s Ole Red venue.

Scotty just joined the lineup for C2C Festival in Europe set for March 22. He will be joined by country superstars Darius Rucker, Miranda Lambert, and Luke Combs. He also has upcoming tour dates all the way through mid-November. Some of the songs from Same Truck have already landed on the iTunes Top 200 Country Music Songs chart and the Top 40 US Country Songs chart. The album currently sits on top of the iTunes Top 100 Country Albums chart.

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