This ‘Carly Rae Jepson’ article was written by Helen Daly, a GIGsoup contributor
Since she burst onto the pop scene in 2012 with the annoyingly catchy ‘Call Me Maybe’, Carly Rae Jepsen’s back catalogue appeared to be resigned to backing tracks on daytime TV shows. That seemed set to change with the 29 year old’s Spring release of ‘I Really Like You’ and incidentally, the debut single from E•MO•TION, her third album (yes, I didn’t realise she had two previous to this either).
The song itself was nothing remotely out of the ordinary; in fact, most of the current pop stars could have released it and I wouldn’t have been surprised. The a sing-a-long chorus that says, ‘I really, really, really, really, really, really like you’, with the clingiest of sentiments, adopts the Rihanna theory that ‘repetition = number ones’. Whilst it didn’t quite hit the top spot, the song reached the top ten and was a radio favourite for weeks, partly because of it’s pop nature but probably because of its rewatchable video starring Tom Hanks at his lovable best. As she runs down the street dancing with a decidedly cheery Robert Langdon, you can’t help but think that maybe this is Jepsen’s renaissance. So with that in mind, how does the rest of the album fit in with that plan?
The album begins with the fairly inoffensive and upbeat ‘Run Away With Me’. Singing about being ‘your sinner in secret’, Jepsen sets the tone for the album, conveying the very emotions connected with love. Nothing radical in that, but she does it well from the off, creating a type of urgency with her running beat in the opening song. Followed swiftly by the peppy ‘E•MO•TION’, the title track runs much in the same vein as the first track, following a Marina and the Diamonds style of song. ‘Making the Most of the Night’ adopts the role of ‘the party song’ which seems to appear on every pop album these days (see: ‘Last Friday Night (TGIF) by Katy Perry and ‘Pound the Alarm’ by Nicki Minaj), but still, it does it well with its foot-tappingly good beat.
Although it’s massively clichèd to admit, E•MO•TION really is an album of two halves; whilst this opening seems to conform fairly nicely to the pop record style, the latter half of the album blossoms into a mature and unique take on the genre. ‘All That’ takes on a brooding tone, displaying the softer and purring side to Jepsen’s vocals. A highlight of the record can be found in the slow and sultry disco tune, ‘Warm Blood’. It’s hard not to imagine the moody song oozing through the coolest of club’s speakers. Perhaps the best song on the record is found in ‘Your Type’, a mature and good, old-fashioned power ballad. The lyrics, ‘I’m not the type of girl for you’ and ‘I want you to miss me’ seem to have more depth then standard love songs and when combined with Jepsen’s vocal strength makes the ballad a winning entry.
Overall then, Jepsen’s third album is somewhat of a triumph. Yes, she seems to accomplish her mission of displaying varying emotions. Whilst the record perhaps starts out slow, it does build and reveals moments of brilliance; I might not ‘really, really, really, really, really, really like’ it, but it’s safe to say that it’s not half bad at all.
‘E•MO•TION’ is out on the 18th September via School Boy/Interscope Records