Cassadee Pope was the third season winner of NBC‘s The Voice in 2012. All four judges (Adam Levine, Ceelo Green, Christina Aguilera, Blake Shelton) turned their chairs at her audition, and, Pope chose country star Shelton as her coach. She was my favorite contestant that season for two reasons (other than her amazing voice, that is). First, she’s adorable. Yes, I overuse that adjective, but, whatever. Second, she used to front a pretty cool Paramore-inspired pop/punk band called Hey Monday. Over the season, Pope sang the Hell out of songs like “Behind These Hazel Eyes” (Kelly Clarkson), “I’m With You” (Avril Lavigne), “Cry” (Faith Hill), and, especially, “Over You” (Miranda Lambert).
So, since Blake Shelton was Pope‘s coach, her first post-Voice solo album, Frame By Frame, is pure country/pop, or pop/country, depending on which genre you think is more prominent in the sound. And, although she’s not breaking any new ground on this album, it’s still a pretty solid collection of undeniably catchy songs, with lyrics that sound sincere when delivered by Pope‘s Voice-winning voice. “Wasting All These Tears” is a well-chosen first single, but, I can’t imagine sweet little Cassadee looking for answers “at the bottom of a bottle / Lying down on the bathroom floor.” I see her more as the girl in “I Wish I Could Break Your Heart” who is conflicted over giving her guy what he deserves: “Well, the truth is that I never ever wanna hurt you, baby / But, it’d be nice to know that I could / Be strong enough to pull you under / Throw you back a little thunder / Even though I never would.” Or the girl innocently pining over the guy who broke her heart in the sadly beautiful ballad “One Song Away”. But, we find out who Pope really is in “11”, a heart-tugging ballad, co-written by Pope herself, about growing up without a father. Other good tracks co-written by Pope are “This Car” and, this album’s most pop/rockin’ track, “Prove You Wrong”. Will Cassadee Pope be the next Carrie Underwood? I don’t know, but, I do know that I liked this album a whole lot more than I thought I would.
Watch the video for “Wasting All These Tears” here: