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Cassadee Pope

Summer EP – 2016 (Big Machine)

Reviewed by Michael Rampa

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CDs by Cassadee Pope

Cassadee Pope's new release is officially called "Summer EP." But upon a full listen, one wonders if the working title may have been "The Road More Often Traveled." To say that the third season "The Voice" winner played it safe is a bit of an understatement. She penned three of the songs, including the obvious title track and the more impactful, autobiographical "Alien." Elsewhere, the songs are about a summer fling, mean people and appreciating your loved ones. Though usually a central theme in country music and especially summer releases, the effort is refreshingly devoid of drinking songs. One of Pope's signatures is her supersonic vocals which are not featured here. Instead, she subtly delivers each song in a silky mezzo soprano.

The disc marks a full circle moment with producer Corey Crowder, who co-wrote her first number one single, the duet with Chris Young, "Think Of You." Though in a four-song EP, there's not much material to reflect upon, Pope did say it was a preview of material on her upcoming album. Here's hoping she digs a little deeper thematically because she's certainly got the fun part of the season down pat.