If you’ve been waiting for a new album from Cassadee Pope then you’ll finally be happy. Five years on from her debut she’s back with Stage, by her own admission her most personal music yet. With a few singles and an EP scatter about since 2013, Pope’s kept her arm in, including her massive 2016 track, ‘Thinking Of You; with Chris Young.
Stages is one of those records that carefully straddles the country-pop line, straying over it liberally, but saved from being totally pop by Pope’s way with a lyric and the stories she’s telling. Amongst the more generic songs are some real gems: ‘How I Feel Right Now’ has something about its melody that makes it killer, ‘Bring Me Down Town’ is probably the most country track, it’s clever lyrics giving it a different vibe, while ‘I’ve Been Good’ is just brilliant; clever and witty, everything a cracking song should be.