As Cassadee Pope's solo debut single, "Wasting All These Tears" is a sufficient offering, perfectly straddling the line between pop and Country.It samples the boisterous production of her contemporaries, namely Taylor Swift and Carrie Underwood, and offers up a guitar-laden arrangement that will fit perfectly at radio, both Country and Top 40. There won't even be a need for a remix, honestly. The instrumentation skews to the extreme of pop-rock with a dash of down-home banjo.
With females (save for Taylor, Carrie and Miranda Lambert) struggling to find radioplay, Cassadee's future remains in limbo, even with this stellar pop affair. The hook is infectious and should lead the singer to at least gain traction with a Top 30 hit.
The song's intro takes notes from The Band Perry's similarly structured guitar plucking No. 1 hit "Better Dig Two" but quickly shifts into Avril Lavigne territory. That's not to say the track isn't fresh enough. It certainly is, at least in regards to what Country music is serving up right now. It's the love-child hybrid of Carrie and Taylor at their best, a singularly concocted anthem of a former flame. The song plods along, reading like a diary entry, quite like something Taylor could have written for 'Red.' The only difference is is that Cassadee has the vocal prowess and nuance to slowly build the story from the harrowing first verse to the mountainous crescendo towards the song's end, culminating in rich power notes. The song, a co-write with Caitlyn Smith and Rollie Gaalswyk, is rather vivid in its metaphors, a great way to introduce her to the general Country music listening crowd as a true singer-songwriter.
"I try to find you at the bottom of the bottle, lying down on the bathroom floor," she sings on the first verse. "My loneliness was wrattling the windows. You say you don't want me anymore."
Cassadee's vocals aren't particularly Country, which is perhaps her best assest. She interprets the honest lyrics from her own personal experience, allowing the song to speak for itself, without overdoing it. Each fist-pumping chorus builds upon the verses, laying down a glossed-sheen throughout the entire recording. I'm not completely sold on this song as "Country" per-se, but it's catchy enough to surely build momentum for the singer as she preps her Big Machine debut album this fall.
The hook is crafted around simple pop-confection (see: Kelly Clarkson circa "Breakaway"). It reads:
"Standing on the corner crying / Feeling like a fool for trying / I don't even remember why / I’m wasting all these tears on you."
Whether Country radio fully embraces the song remains to be seen. Can she have a major breakthrough with this offering? Possibly…if promoted correctly (aka if Scott Borchetta works his magic).
Overall Grade: B+