Cassadee Pope, ex-lead singer of pop-punk band Hey Monday and Season 3 winner of NBC’s The Voice, has really made a name for herself in the country music community. She has a hit power ballad called “Wasting All These Tears”, has been on tour with country fan favorites Rascal Flatts and The Band Perry, and has a mini docu-series on CMT chronicling her first radio tour. Sure, it’s a little weird to think of her as a country artist now, but her debut album Frame By Frame makes you realize that maybe this may have been the best decision for her.
Apart from “Wasting All These Tears”, Pope put out four other singles before the release of Frame By Frame. The feel-good, toe-tappin’, makes you wanna put a beer in your hand starting track, “Good Times”. “Champagne”, which is quite literally about being love drunk. A song about how her man tries to prove his love for her even though she feels insecure in the relationship (“You Hear a Song”). And possibly one of the saddest, most emotionally real songs you will ever hear about divorce that will make you tear up even if you’ve never experienced it (“11”).
The album begins with “Good Times” and ends with the I’m-better-off-without-you anthem “Proved You Wrong”. The other songs (“I Wish I Could Break Your Heart,” “Everybody Sings” and “This Car”) give off an old-school Taylor Swift vibe without the constant ex-bashing while also giving you a glimpse of her pent-up emotions that couldn’t be released during her Hey Monday or solo pop artist days. “One Song Away” is by far the best track because the subject matter of how powerful hearing a song that reminds you of a specific person (in this case, an ex-lover) is so universal to pretty much anyone.
There’s a definite growth in not only her songwriting skill but vocal ability (she hits some pretty high, drawn out notes). Maybe it goes with the theme of her album title, Frame By Frame, but some of the songs so far definitely have a diary-like feel to them that’s not only appealing to everyone but also shows us who she is as a person. Are long-time fans (including myself) sad that she left the pop-punk scene? Of course. But sometimes musicians need to engage in these drastic musical changes in order to keep people on their toes. Cassadee Pope definitely succeeded in that and this album is a successful breakout into her new genre.