Teenage girls listen up and turn up the radio because a new country pop princess is about to take over. 24-year-old Florida native Cassadee Pope released her debut album Frame By Frame on October 8th and it is already making waves through the music community debuting at Number 9 on the Billboard Top 200.
After winning season three of the hit NBC show “The Voice,” the former pop punk lead singer of the band Hey Monday is trying her hand on the country-pop space currently dominated by chart-toppers Taylor Swift and Carrie Underwood, ditching the pop-punk that had defined her career up until that point.
With modern pop country tracks, Pope is sure to gain a large fan base with teenage girls who will use her songs as a soundtrack to the fun and love sick times of their lives.
The first track on Frame by Frame is calling out for everyone to have a “Good Times”. With lyrics about getting the crowd going “wall to wall” Pope aims to have the audience react in a upbeat energetic way. While the music part of the song could be more upbeat for the message it tries to convey, the lyrics are simple and to the point. While I do not anticipate “Good Times” being a song that will become a chart-topping hit, it is one that will played by true fans.
Pope decides to keep the beginning of the album on the light-hearted side and follows the previous party song with “Champagne”. A track about the high and adrenaline rush that someone can give you, it speaks to the romantic love struck listeners. Lyrics like “You’re my Champagne, baby you go straight to my head. Just one taste and I’m about as high as I can get,” are accompanied by a modern country melody that keeps the track light hearted and catchy.
By the third track of Frame by Frame, Pope moves away from the light happy tone of the previous songs. “Wasting All These Tears,” the first single released, talks about how someone feels when they realize that the person they loved was a waste of time and how they are trying to move on. With lyrics like “You ain’t worth another sleepless night and I’ll do everything I gotta do to get you off my mind,” Pope does a great job of letting the listener channel hurt, anger, frustration and all other emotions that are connected with getting your heart broken. Composed of a semi-haunting melody with banjos and violins, “Wasting All These Tears” has already showcased Pope’s powerful vocals and proven that she can deliver a hit song. It not only sold more than 125,000 copies in the first week it was released, but also reached #37 on the Billboard Hot 100.
Clearly Pope has a way of telling people that she’s over them as she does in “Proved You Wrong”. With a strong musical accompaniment made up of drums and electric guitars, “Proved You Wrong” brings back a slight reminder of Kelly Clarkson’s hit “Since U Been Gone”. On this track Pope is letting go of someone who did not treat her right and being able to become strong on her own. For anyone who has ever been in a bad relationship and been able to get out of it, this is definitely the song you want to sing to your ex.
Frame by Frame is composed of many pop country tracks that have potential of becoming popular with the teenage audience. “Everybody Sings” and “This Car” are two of those tracks. “Everybody Sings” is a typical feel good song with feel good music. A song about how music can bring different kinds of people together, the lyrics are basically designed for singing along, a quality that is shared with “This Car”. Once again, an upbeat modern pop country track talks about a relationship. This song however brings into the picture a car that has sentimental value because it has been the backdrop to the development of this relationship. With pretty vocals, Pope sings “…and the dashboard has seen every kiss and every downpour, every we’re going to make it through this…me and you and this car” bringing a light hearted take on a relationship.
With an album that is mostly composed of upbeat tracks, “You Hear a Song” is a song that sticks out of the rest due to the use of some unexpected minor chords through the chorus. Composed of beautiful lyrics, it tells the story of someone who sees a lot of flaws in themselves but in the eyes of their significant other they are perfect.
With different messages but similar melodies “One Song Away” is another slower paced track that adds variety to Frame by Frame. Music is one of the rare things that can speak to people and invoke emotion and that message is portrayed through the lyrics. “I’m one song away from breaking down and calling you up. And each one that plays is telling me that I’m still in love. Every word and every line is singing how I feel tonight…” are lyrics that portray how many people feel when listening to certain songs. Pope shows throughout many different tracks that her voice is powerful and she has also been able to show a softer side through “You Hear a Song” and “One Song Away”, showcasing that she is truly a versatile singer.
While many country songs talk about being cheated on, Cassadee Pope takes on a different perspective in her song “Easier to Lie”. Singing about the guilt she feels after cheating she goes to try to confess but finds that it’s easier to lie because telling the truth would hurt the person too much. While not portraying the most proper way of handling it, Pope does a great job of showing a different side to a sadly very common situation.
While “Easier to Lie” is a song about not wanting to hurt someone, “I Wish I Could Break Your Heart” is the exact opposite. The theme of the song is given away by the direct title and the lyrics are equally as direct. With a little twist of not being able to actually cause someone as much pain as they caused you, the song talks about wanting to have the power to do it. “Well the truth is that I never ever wanna hurt you baby but it be nice to know that I could” are the lyrics at the beginning of a strongly written chorus that explain the precise meaning behind this song. With an electric guitar and banjo solo, “I Wish I Could Break Your Heart” is one of the catchiest tunes on the album and has potential to be a hit for this pop country singer.
The most personal track on Frame by Frame is “11”, which was released as a single on August 27th. “11” is a track about Pope’s dad walking away from the family when she turned 11. While the melody is not particularly sad, the lyrics convey raw emotion that strikes a chord with anyone who has gone through the separation of their parents. The ability of how easily it’s going to be for people to connect with this song is clearly going to play an important part in the success of this track. A tearjerker by design, “11” has the potential of being the song that resonates with country fans due to its simplicity and honesty.
After winning a highly popular singing competition, there is no doubt that Cassadee Pope is one of the most talented singers in the business right now. The question is whether or not Pope is able to make a strong transition into the country music market. While her debut album probably won’t win over twang die-hard country fans, it will reside well in the Taylor Swift inspired pop country market. With a strong number of potential hits, Cassadee Pope has either way delivered a strong debut and is sure to be downloaded to teenage girl’s playlists everywhere.