Cassadee Pope

Frame by Frame

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Cassadee Pope co-founded emo-pop-punk band Hey Monday along with guitarist Mike Gentile in 2008, and the band released a full-length album as well as several EPs before Pope left to pursue a solo career, a career that took off 21st century style when she auditioned for NBC's The Voice, passed it, and then became the first woman to win it all in the show's third season. By now being presented as a country singer, she signed with Republic Nashville, released a handful of digital singles, several of which hit the top of various download charts, and began recording a debut album. But this is the 21st century, remember, so the making of her album became a six-part docuseries starring, well, Pope, and well, in a sense, the album itself. Now Frame by Frame is out and it's time to see what's there. It isn't really country, at least not in the old sense, instead being that kind of thinly veneered pop that passes for country these days, and it isn't particularly memorable either, although the recorded sound is very good, wide and defined. A few of the tracks rise above the generic, including the bouncy opener, "Good Times," the going-out-on-the-town-it's-Friday-night anthem "Everybody Sings," a narrative about family dissolution called "11," and "This Car," which name-checks Tom Petty, but most of what is here evaporates into thin air, however brightly. But then it really isn't about how good the album is or isn't. This is the 21st century, so it's about how long Pope can hold the public's attention across multiple media. She can definitely sing and she's photogenic, so that should help, and this album won't hurt her, which is really the point, docuseries and all. It's the 21st century.

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