The 24-year-old is doing something he's not yet done with an album: co-writing all of its tracks.
"For me, when we sat down and looked at the hundreds of songs we had that were pitched to us or songs we wrote ... just where I was at in life and the things I've been through, I felt like the fans needed to hear it straight from me," McCreery confessed.
For the country crooner, home is tucked away in nearly every piece of his latest album.
"It's non-fiction so that's what I love about this record."
RELATED: Fayetteville's Lee Vasi makes her American Idol debut
Fans from his hometown still line the stores whenever he's in town, as evident by his latest autograph signing at a Garner Walmart.
At least a thousand fans waited to see him, some for hours.
For his hit single "Five More Minutes," a clear reflection of growing up and losing loved ones is on display.
The song was penned in 2015 by McCreery just two weeks after losing his granddaddy Bill.
"He was just a dude that lived life to the fullest," McCreery said with a remembering smile. "Even when he was like 85, he was still doing cannonballs in his backyard like a boss."
McCreery's new album a far cry from the popular "bro country" that fills radio station airwaves.
He confessed that it may sound a little odd coming from him, it's just not his style.
"I try to bridge that gap of old school and new school and see what we come up with."
This season of American Idol is another change for the young star's life, as he returns to the show that first gave him wings.
This time though, McCreery is not a nervous teenage contestant; now a seasoned artist, he will be a mentor.
"It's crazy! It's a big transition to go from small-town USA to Los Angeles with all of the cameras and stuff just following you everywhere. But, he (McCreery's mentee) had a good head of his shoulders, so I think he's got a good shot."
For now, he plans to continue touring with stops in North Carolina.
You can catch American Idol Sundays and Mondays at 8 p.m. ET| 7 p.m. CT on ABC 11.