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21 of 23 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Disappointing: Commercial Studio Smoothness Replaces The Voice Winner's Live Brilliance
I've never been a huge fan of singing as a primary focus of music - for me, a great guitar solo has always been able to convey more emotion, in more of a genuine fashion, than all but a small handful of singers' voices. My family members have avidly followed the various singing competition shows, but I've never developed the interest in those shows that many have. That...
Published 22 months ago by Not my real name guy

versus
3.0 out of 5 stars Three Stars
Not the live version but a studio recording
Published 3 months ago by Minpins Rule


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21 of 23 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Disappointing: Commercial Studio Smoothness Replaces The Voice Winner's Live Brilliance, January 31, 2013
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This review is from: The Voice, Complete Season 3 Collection (Audio CD)
I've never been a huge fan of singing as a primary focus of music - for me, a great guitar solo has always been able to convey more emotion, in more of a genuine fashion, than all but a small handful of singers' voices. My family members have avidly followed the various singing competition shows, but I've never developed the interest in those shows that many have. That changed when I was walking through the living room this fall, where my wife was watching The Voice and I heard a female singer begin to sing a song that was vaguely familiar. Stopping and listening for a moment, I realized that the song was one I had heard nearly a decade earlier that had struck me as a great song I should look up and buy, but never had - it was "Are You Happy Now," by Michelle Branch. What I was watching on my TV was the gutsiest, finest rock performance I had heard on not just The Voice, but on American Idol, America's Got Talent, or X-Factor. I sat down and watched Cassadee Pope complete an amazing performance and then I rewound and watched it twice more (but skipping Adam Levine's lengthy, self-absorbed rant about a venue that treated his band poorly back in the early days when Maroon 5 was Michelle Branch's warm-up band). I then searched our DVR for Pope's performances on prior episodes of The Voice.

I watched Cassadee's performance of the Blake Shelton and Miranda Lambert song "Over You," Blake's expression of his angst at the death of his brother. Now I don't like country music - the typical twangyness is like fingernails on a chalkboard for me and the focus on vocals instead of instruments doesn't appeal. But I was just riveted by the outstanding, heartfelt performance from Cassadee. In one of the introductory segments, Shelton tells Cassadee "You need to make this song your own." Wow, did she ever. Unlike nearly any other singer I've heard, Cassadee Pope is able to sing at 100% power while still maintaining full tonality, all while imparting genuine emotion. Many singers, in the Michael Bolton style, heap on the phony, exaggerated emotion with more cheesiness than one would find in a Velveeta factory. Pope's performance of "Over You" simply causes any listener's eyes to get watery - so heartfelt is the passion she puts in her singing. Pope's live version of "Over You" was, hands-down, the finest vocal performance rendered by any singer on any singing competition show and if I've ever heard a finer vocal performance, I can't recall it at this time; I'm even including any song by Patsy Cline, who I consider to be the greatest female vocalist of all time. Several of Cassadee's performances on The Voice were, quite simply, about as close to perfection as a human being can sing.

So I put in a pre-order for Cassadee's CD of performances from The Voice, something I had never in a million years considered doing for any American Idol finalist or any past finalist on the Voice. When the CD arrived, I was initially pleased to see that nearly all the songs are in the 3-4 minute range, rather than the 2 minute versions that were performed on the show. However, when Cassadee went into the studio to re-record those songs, she must have been advised "Tone it down a bit - there's no need to give everything in these performances." And she didn't. The live version of "Over You" is clearly better and more emotional than Miranda Lambert's original version, but the studio version on this album isn't - it does not convey the angst and grief that Cassadee poured from within herself on the stage of The Voice

In her live performance of Are You Happy Now, she snarls with bitterness and very slightly outperforms Michelle Branch's excellent original version (which I bought the day after I heard Pope sing it). Cassadee's studio version is quite a bit more polite and civil and as a result, has lost what made it special on the show.

Cassadee's initial performance on the show during the audition round was Torn, originally performed by Natalie Imbruglia, and if you watch the video of it on You Tube, you see the coaches immediately sit up and pay attention. About 15 seconds in to the song, Blake, Christina and Adam all smacked their buttons emphatically; it took CeLo another half minute to turn his chair. Watch the coaches' faces - they have genuine awe and delight in their expressions as they listen to Cassadee. Torn was about an average performance for Cassadee, better than her duets but less phenomenal than Over You or Are You Happy Now. But perhaps I should not use the term "average" even in the context of just her performances, as it was very special indeed. She displayed her typical ability to vary her tone from the soprano range to a deeper alto, nearly a tenor range, to go from soft to powerful, to carry a tune with impeccable tonality without a trace of pitchiness, and to let genuine emotion flow from within. The coaches gave her a standing ovation, which, if memory serves, was the first time they did that for any audition in three seasons. She was one of the first artists that all four judges turned for, and as of that time, she probably got multiple judges turning their chairs more quickly than for any other artist. If instead of that live performance, Cassadee had played her studio track for the judges, she would probably have convinced two judges to turn their chairs instead of four, and she might have convinced only one judge to turn. The studio version of Torn is simply a lesser song. Pope puts only about 80% of what made that song special into her studio version, less emotion, less range, less power. It's very good, but it just isn't great.

With the exception of "Stupid Boy," which does retain all of its live power and emotion, these songs are all less potent and less special than the performances from the show. Don't get me wrong - I'm not being a complete naysayer - Cassadee still has a sweet, expressive voice that puts to shame one-octave Taylor Swift or all those Whitney Houston wannabees trying to yell and growl instead of conveying genuine emotion (Or, for that matter, any of the coaches on The Voice, which I bet Blake would admit but Christina would not). But a lot of the magic Cassadee displayed performing live on The Voice just didn't make it onto this studio album, whether it was a bit less forcefulness in her voice or she rushed through a lyric instead of holding a note for one more second to impart greater emotion. If one just heard this studio album, it would be hard to use a fairly negative term to describe Cassadee's singing, but after having recently watched most of her live performances on The Voice again (and my earlier praise using terms like "finest," "greatest" and "perfection" still stands 100%) and then listening to the album, I really have to say that in these studio versions, in comparison to the live ones, she was kind of mailing-in her performances. Not a whole lot, and not to the extent that many artists do, but it really wasn't full effort and she really just did not give 100 percent in the recording studio.

In conclusion, yes, it's a good album that's still worth buying. These songs are enjoyable, well-crafted songs and they are well-sung by a very talented singer. However, if you were a fan of Cassadee from having seen her performances on The Voice, you might be prepared to have slightly lowered expectations, or you may find yourself sadly disappointed, too.

EDIT: I see a few people disagreed with me and gave my review Not Helpful ratings. If you're inclined to join them, please leave me a comment explaining why. I think I expressed about as strong of praise for Cassadee as a singer as anyone possibly could, but I simply rated this album objectively, as I think most people would rather hear the honest, unbiased truth that includes both the pros and the cons, instead of the blindly loyal fanboi's/fangurrl's sugar-coated opinion. I tried to be very fair and candidly said that while it is a good album, it does not equal her live performances. If you don't believe me, check out those performances on You Tube, hopefully connected to a good A/V system or through good headphones to appreciate the amazing quality of Cassadee's voice. Be sure to listen to the original, official NBC The Voice videos - they are the only accurate ones, as YouTube makes members upload their own versions of the recordings at slightly different speeds to avoid copyright issues and the multiple non-official versions all sound higher pitched and speeded up, as if she had inhaled a little bit of helium.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful Voice, January 30, 2013
By 
M. Doody (Vista, California USA) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Voice, Complete Season 3 Collection (Audio CD)
Couldn't wait to listen and hear Cassadee's voice again. Seems all Voice renditions are here, with slightly unplugged arrangements. Her own CD with fuller arrangements to compliment her beautiful voice, inflections and interpretations will be astounding!! Love her, love her music, hope she stays true to herself and gives us more and more beautiful stories and tunes.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Cassadee Rocks, May 10, 2013
By 
Carol Becker (Fort Bragg, CA USA) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
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This review is from: The Voice, Complete Season 3 Collection (Audio CD)
I think Cassadee Pope has a real potential to be around a long time in the legion of hard rockers. She also has a softer side and is surely on the way to bigger and better things. Hope to see more work from her in different genres..
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Love Cassadee :), March 19, 2013
By 
Goldwyne (Lake Tahoe, NV) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Voice, Complete Season 3 Collection (Audio CD)
Although I much prefer the live versions of these songs, I am really enjoying being able to hear her sing them again. She's great!
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3.0 out of 5 stars Three Stars, August 17, 2014
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Not the live version but a studio recording
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4.0 out of 5 stars Excellent!, May 26, 2014
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This review is from: The Voice, Complete Season 3 Collection (Audio CD)
Cassadee Pope is a great singer, even singing cover tunes she is interesting. Buy any of her albums. Frame By Frame is a Brilliant album & Hold On Tight by Hey Monday is awesome as well.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Cassadee' s amazing voice!, January 19, 2014
By 
Blu Watcher (Chicago, Il USA) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Voice, Complete Season 3 Collection (Audio CD)
Cassadee Pope convert me to country music. Her amazing voice just captivated me from the first time I heard her on The Voice.
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4.0 out of 5 stars great tunes! can rock out when she wants to!, November 16, 2013
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This review is from: The Voice, Complete Season 3 Collection (Audio CD)
a very good and diverse song selection—nice power and range (it takes a lot to get a five star rating out of me…)
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5.0 out of 5 stars A Must for 'The Voice' Season 3 Winner- Cassadee Pope!, November 13, 2013
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This review is from: The Voice, Complete Season 3 Collection (Audio CD)
This has all of Cassadee Pope's performances from her winning season on 'The Voice'. If you enjoyed her on Season 3, this CD is a must.
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5.0 out of 5 stars great CD, November 13, 2013
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This review is from: The Voice, Complete Season 3 Collection (Audio CD)
The cd is great - Cassadee Pope is an awesome singer. Now I hope that they do one of the music Danielle Bradury did on season 4.
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The Voice, Complete Season 3 Collection
The Voice, Complete Season 3 Collection by Cassadee Pope (Audio CD - 2013)
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