As far as “front females” go, I’d have to say that Hayley Williams of Paramore would be up there with my favorites. She has a great voice regardless of what people may think about her in general. What I don’t like about Williams however, is nothing that has to do with her personally, but the endless amount of comparisons to her whenever someone listens to a female fronted band. “OMG Paramore 2.0” and “Paramore rip-off1!!1” are amongst the comments I’ve witnessed regarding a pop band with a female vocalist. Part of me even thinks there could be a death metal band but as long as there was a girl singer, Paramore comparisons would be made.
When Hey Monday signed to Decaydance Records and the public saw that a girl was on vocals, hate came from every corner of the Internet. The fact that they were signed to Paramore’s label’s vanity probably didn’t help much either. However, the comparisons have gotten older than the jar of peanut butter sitting in my cabinet. In actuality, Hey Monday sound nothing like Paramore. If anything, Hey Monday is much more pop and way more mainstream. To put it bluntly, Decaydance and Columbia have found the new Avril Lavigne in vocalist Cassadee Pope and the band’s debut album, Hold on Tight, proves it.
Opener “Set Off” sets off the tone for the album, which is summed up as “infectious as monkeypox.” Destined to be all over the airwaves, “How You Love Me Now” follows the opener with its explosive chorus, while first single “Homecoming” shines during its bridge. It’s not an exaggeration in the least when I say every song could be a Billboard Hot 100 topper. Each riff hits harder than the one before and the vocals seem to keep getting stronger as each note goes by. However, musically and lyrically, it’s far from anything special and certainly nothing to be impressed over. My favorite track off the record, “Hurricane Streets,” is as energetic as anything currently taking over radio with hooks that will knock you off your feet. The obligatory ballads (“Candles,” “6 Months”) sound like something straight off of Lavigne’s Under My Skin (you know, the album that went triple platinum?).
While there will be a good amount of people who will absolutely despise Hold on Tight, it’s definitely one of the best this year as far as straight up pop goes. It’s pretty easy for me to accept an album that may lack the quality of what people think is “good” music and appreciate the fact of how much it brightens my mood. For those who can’t accept it, I recommend they stay indoors, because it’s only a matter of time until Hey Monday is everywhere.