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ATP! Album Review: Cassadee Pope - Frame By Frame

It feels like Cassadee Pope fans (or "Cassettes" for those of you not up on your fan lingo) have spent these past couple of years watching the singer figure herself out. Well, the wait is over, and it seems Cassadee has found exactly where she belongs.

Frame By Frame opens with the single-ready 'Good Times.' It’s apparent that this is going to be unapologetically country pop, and chances are you’re going to find yourself bobbing your head along at least once. “I really want to put a smile on your lips” the 24-year-old sings, catching listeners attentions because, yeah, that’s exactly what she did.

'I Wish I Could Break Your Heart' is an interesting take on the love song trope. Interspersed with a pretty killer guitar line and plucky banjo, Cassadee’s voice soars as she recounts how she wishes she could break someone’s heart and make them cry, even though she wouldn’t actually hurt them, it would just “be nice to know she could” and, to be honest, who hasn’t felt that way? It’s such a unique take on the yearning love song that we hardly ever get to hear that it can only be pointed out as a standout on the album.

The biggest standout, however, is one of her current singles, '11.' Stripped down to an acoustic guitar and the occasional violin, we get to hear her vulnerable side that has an air of sincerity accentuated by the country vibes. The true star of the song though, is Cassadee’s voice. Sure, we get a good taste of her vocal chops with her single 'Wasting All My Tears' but it’s here, when everything steps back and lets her voice carry the song, that we really see her shine.

Frankly, there are some less-than-stellar moments, like the aforementioned single that come off a little too Avril Lavigne. ‘Everybody Sings’ may be a catchy song but it's reminiscent of a Hannah Montana b-side. (Not necessarily bad things, but not up to par with the other gems found on the album.)

What’s most notable about her debut country album is its honesty. Pair that with what may come across as overused country gimmicks - foot-stomping drum beats and the distinct fiddle - and old and new Cassettes alike get a breath of fresh air that is 100% Cassadee Pope. The release outlines her feelings, for better and for worse, and if there is anything commendable about any song on the release it’s that at some points she even points out the faults in herself.

In the end, some people may have been confused by her decision to try her hand at country, and maybe they might even blame her coach on The Voice, Blake Shelton, for that, but the way we see it, he helped her find herself. This release is a testament to how far Cassadee has come and how far she is planning to go. It only excites us more to see what she has in store for us. So move over, Taylor Swift, there’s a new country pop princess here to take the throne and if Frame By Frame is any indication, she’s here to stay.

4/5

Victoria Patneaude

Frame By Frame is out now via Republic Nashville.