Believe it or not, it has now been well over two years since fan favorite Hollie Cavanagh ended her “American Idol” run at a commendable fourth place. With a dedicated fan base of “Holliepops” and a fine vocal instrument ever at her disposal, looking back at the eleventh season of “Idol,” she was definitely one of the top few who seemed to be primed for a successful career in the pop industry at one point or another. As of July 15, 2013, the first fruit of her post-“Idol” efforts has been out for sale on the market in the form of “Outer Limit.” While her Holliepops have remained by her side as true fans always would, the question here is whether or not this debut single could just be great enough to eventually be a force to be reckoned with on the radio if given the chance.
On the track, Hollie’s distinct and beautiful tone is front and center as she lends her voice toward performing a sweet first effort at an original studio record. In “Outer Limit” she proves just how adaptable that vocal instrument of hers can actually be. Her phrasing is impressively crisp and clear as she takes on a refined pop hook that is undeniably as catchy as it is sophisticated. The song’s chorus is the perfect place for her to prove just how sweet her upper register actually is, while near the track’s end is where she is able to successfully demonstrate her sheer vocal power without seeming overbearing in any way whatsoever.
The instrumentation of the track is just understated enough to place Cavanagh’s voice as the centerpiece of the whole affair — as it should be — while offering something great to the song that wouldn’t necessarily be present if it were composed in a different way. The light electric guitar, thumping bass, hand claps, and soft backing vocals are perfect in terms of fully arranging a type of sweethearted feel about the track, and with Hollie’s voice front and center, it couldn’t be made any better. The additional instrumental twists tossed in here or there as well, such as the fun breakdown that features a stripped down set of claps and a backing vocal shouting some catchy, pop-oriented “Oh”‘s here and there, are also much appreciated. To top it all off, it is arguable enough that just Cavanagh’s sweet head voice crooning “outer limit” is just enough to convince the casual pop listener to play the track all over again.
The answer here to the question posed in the first paragraph here, henceforth, is a resounding “yes.” If “Outer Limit” were to be given the promo and spins that it deserves, it could very easily become a pop hit. It is substantially less shallow than what most million-dollar-making mainstream pop acts who thrive off of their precious autotune devices are able to produce, actually featuring an amazingly good vocal paired with a catchy, fun message and arrangement. Whether it becomes one of the biggest hits of the season is still unknown, but the idea that it deserves to is undisputed, and either way, Hollie’s Holliepops have been given something pretty darn good to hold them over until the artist releases her first post-“Idol” EP or full album release.