Hey Monday

Hold On Tight

You'd be hard-pressed to find any reference to Hey Monday that doesn't immediately mention Paramore. But any similarities between the two acts are surface at best. For starters, HM vocalist Cassadee Pope has a pronounced sweet tooth: Her powerful, mature singing has much in common with both sassy '90s acts (Veruca Salt, Letters To Cleo) and modern pop tarts (Meg & Dia, Avril Lavigne). Pope's vocals dominate Hey Monday's 2008 debut album, Hold On Tight—from the pop-drenched punk moments ("How You Love Me Now," "Josey") to its chugging, hook-filled rock gems ("Homecoming," "Set Off"). And unlike other modern scene queens, she knows how to dial it down:The album-closer "6 Months" is a low-lit acoustic number trembling with vulnerability. Yet Pope's voice—and wise-beyond-her-years lyrics—can't always prevent Tight from feeling a bit generic. Although a promising, polished debut, the collection's ultimate lack of variety leaves Hey Monday much room for improvement on album No. 2.

Sony BMG www.sonymusic.com