You’ve gotta give it to Cassadee Pope -- in a genre dominated by dudes, she’s a breath of fresh air, with a voice that doesn’t rely on Auto-Tune (which, after spending years as the province of studio engineers and tone-deaf frontmen, has now become as commonplace in emo-pop as guitar distortion) to pack a punch. On her band’s second recording, she sings about boys with a mix of girly excitement and blunt sexuality. “I told myself that I would control myself/But my heart and zipper seem to disagree” she confides on the most risqué track, an otherwise anonymous pop tune that gains most of its identity from her strong performance. The rest of the EP follows suit; the songs are perfectly pleasant, all of them stuffed to the gills with Top 40 choruses and “whoa oh” vocals, but it’s Pope’s delivery that helps make Beneath It All something more than your standard S*A*M* & Sluggo production. In a genre that notoriously relies on the same producers, collaborators, and engineers, it’s getting increasingly difficult for a band to carve out its own sound, but Hey Monday sound like they’re doing just fine.
Share this page
AllMusic Review by Andrew Leahey